Like a tree spirit.

A tree spirit.

A bare winter tree photographed at this angle looks like a mythological tree spirit. It could be  a Dryad. A nymph. Usually female.  A tree nymph. Dryads — dry is oak in Greek — tend to stay around one tree. If the tree starts to die so does the nymph. If the tree blossoms so does the nymph. They are kind of shy. Like me.


That’s your dose of something new. Besides, we could use a little magic, a little mythology right about now. The world seems to be a very heavy place these days. So much for positivity, and it’s only been seven days into the new year.


Last night we went out doing early carnival things. We chased a street car. We got stuck in the middle of a parade. And, hung out with friends. Of course, this was all on foot. I could barely walk back to the car. My knee hurt like it was on fire. It felt like someone was sticking a knife in it.

When I arrived at home I probably took too much pain medication. No. Not that much. Sheesh. What do you take me for?


I went to the Mayo Clinic’s website. Normally, I use WebMD since I have a different kind of account there. They are a client of mine so they gave me staff access. But, the joke around the internet is that every symptom ends with something about dying. It goes like this,  “You my have a sprained wrist or it could be something else leading to death.”

I typed in three words into the search box. Knee. Fire. Knife. That took me to a page that used those exact words. I don’t believe in self-diagnoses, but since my words were exactly their words, it gave me pause. It looks like I have a pinched nerve in my knee.

They suggest getting x-rays, an MRI and maybe even a Cat Scan. There are no cats in my knee because the dogs wouldn’t allow it. Did I just write that?

Seriously, by doing those three tests they are suggesting that we look for the root cause of the issue. I don’t need that because we already know that my osteoarthritis is working in new and painful ways.


Early treatments is R. I.C.E.  That’s rest, ice, compression, and elevation. No problem there. The next treatment is stop doing whatever you are doing that causes the pain. That is a problem. Some people develop a pinched nerve by stretching. Others, by crossing their legs. Mine comes from walking. There is no way around that. That would be a two week fix if I could do it.

Other treatments are more medical. I could actually have minor out patient surgery to free the nerve. For me, that’s the last option. The best option may be an injection of corticosteroid which will calm the inflammation and allow the nerve to heal.

At least I know what’s going on since this is a new and improved pain.

Ain’t life grand?

The picture. I knew you were going to ask. I was walking (not good for my knee) in the morning with that dog. I looked up to see the sunlight illuminating the edges of the tree. I moved to a position right underneath it.

The resulting picture was good as it was. Blue sky, early morning golden light and a bare tree.

I wanted to experiment. I removed most of the color, replacing that with muted color and kept sharpening the tree so that the branches were very detailed. I put a frame around it because I liked the look. A wood nymph look.

That’s it. All of it.

Published by Ray Laskowitz

I am a visual storyteller. I've been making pictures for some 40 years. I travel the world in search of the right image. in the right light at the right time. You can reach me by phone at 505.280.4686, or by email at Ray@Laskowitzpicturess.com or Pictures34@me.com. For a quick look at my work please go to www.laskowitzpictures.com.

13 thoughts on “Dryads

  1. You got me with the cat/dog joke. I’m sad that you’re in pain and having trouble walking because all these great pics come out of your treks. But your repartee in this post is really fun. I see that you’re using your word for the year, Positive, very well, making lemonade out of the pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Woof. Dog walks are the least of it. Walking on our always broken streets to photograph second lines, Indians, or even Mardi Gras will either take effort or not doing it at all. Thank you for all of that. 8 days into 2020 and it’s worse than 2019. I’m not how long positivity will last.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Living with pain isn’t something I’ve encountered personally, but I live with a dear husband who has constant osteoarthritic pain. It is particularly bad right now. I think he gets to feeling better and overdoes it, but I readiily admit I have never had to cope, and shouldn’t be so opinionated on the subject. I really do hope you get some good pain managment protocols. I think we’re in for a very bumpy ride in 2020, so you’ll need some relief so that you’re properly “cushioned.”


    1. Your husband is suffering from what I am too. I’m not sure that the pain comes from over doing things. I can feel pretty good one day, do nothing different, and hurt the next day. Out of all of this, my knee is likely the easiest to deal with. Even with two days with some rest, it feels better. Of course, the dogs don’t understand. They want to go for long walks because the weather is cool. Then, I hurt again.

      Tomorrow’s Storyteller (Yes, sometimes I write them the night before) talks about what I feel for 2020. As I said, I got a bad feeling about what’s coming…


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