Nature can never really be predicted, she is wild and free.
These two trees grow next to each other, they are of the same species and have the same age.
The soil, climate, moisture and exposure are equal.
Yet here they stand, one in full autumn leaf, the other bereft of leaf as though in high winter.
This variability in life form, even as closely related as these two poplars are, is what drives evolution.
This is the expansion of being into new and novel forms, this is life for the sheer sake of living as it explores every niche and opportunity.
These elemental forces reach back to the big bang itself and what we see here is the latest expression of that origin as it continues outwards and inwards.
Photo: Poplars at Los Banos de la Luz. Courtesy of the author.