One of my side projects is a mindfulness exercise I call Looking Straight Up, a teeny online photo-gallery. I always have a couple of cameras on me when I am out and about, more to make sure I am paying attention than to take photographs. I have found that staring straight up (and trying not to fall over) is a good way to start conversations with strangers, too.
This afternoon on my way home I was startled by this old birch, how on one side all of its branches had been shorn off, which made it seem very *haute couture*. A woman asked me, “Is there something special about this tree?” We talked for about ten minutes and then concluded, in unison, yes.