Öd’ und leer das Meer

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow

Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,

You cannot say, or guess, for you know only

A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,

And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,

And the dry stone no sound of water.

– T.S. Eliot, ‘The Wasteland’ (19-24)

Fallout

A dead mountain pine in the rocky wasteland outside Kelowna, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. One of many casualties of the growing numbers of Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) – one of the most destructive species of insect pest in North America. The beetles burrow into the outer layers of tree bark, eventually blocking the passage of water and nutrients and ultimately starving the tree to death. Whole swathes of these dead trees can be seen in the Canadian North, distinctive because of the reddish colour their branches turn (obviously not visible in this picture.)

Taken in August of 2008.