How can I tell?
Well, it's fairly obvious from the photos in my phone after a recent trip to NZ (which was really lovely, by the way).
There are a disproportionate number of photos taken purely of trees!
I took photos of large twisted trees on the hill above the Bay of Isles...
They seem to quietly stand, without fanfare or expectation of attention, and they hint at stories I'll never really know.
And that seems ok.
In fact, that seems the way it should be.
A tree doesn't just grow in these places without the impact of weather, soil (or lack there-of), animals, humans, time and so on. Each of these things shape the way the tree grows, the way it ages, and the way it dies.
Trees teach me to be an observer.
Someone who wonders without ever imagining I need to know it all.
They teach me about living life with patience, tenacity and beauty.
And they do so without even asking if that's what I'd like to learn.
So I am humbled.
And I take photos.
Possibly too many, but that might be okay.
I think it might be okay to have a thing about trees.