December 2009 – Week 1

Natalie Biesel has inspired me with all her fabulous photography. As I was preparing the images from this week’s entry I started to play around. As you’ll see I have a black and white image and I took much more consideration in editing, cropping and adjusting my images. Usually I would just pop my favorites into Photoshop, resize and save. But I have learned a lot from Natalie working on the Light Maps show together. Thanks for the inspiration and knowledge and hope you had a wonderful birthday filled with fantastic views, delicious food and beautiful people

DAY 972 12.01.09 – At Drew’s house.

Climbed another tree out in the median. It was a difficult entry but once up, I worked my way to the top. Felt really good too. It was a cool night with a full moon and Drew was below looking for kindling.

He didn’t stay out long though. By the time I finished climbing and came back inside he already had the flames going.

DAY 973 12.02.09 – Wet Parkour meet-up. I ran from my house to the Waterfront Park. Then Mark, Christian, Jeremy and I ran to the parking garage by the Presbyterian Center.

Soon we got bored of the garage and I noticed the rain had stopped so we hit the nearby courtyard. The lights of the new stadium were drawing me in

so I climbed another tree in the front of the Presbyterian Center and took shots.

One guy was leaving the building and unlocking his bike. He saw us jumping around on stuff and asked if we were part of "that group that takes photos from the tops of things." I asked what group that was, and he started explaining how he had to ask this one guy to get out of the tree, and he was taking pictures. I replied, "Yeah, that was me, and it isn’t a group. I just climb trees everyday and take pictures…. And I do parkour too."

DAY 974 12.03.09 – Met up at El Mundo with Drew, Morgan T. and Garett. Had a few margaritas with my spicy bean crispy tacos and was fretting the newly dropped temperature.

(Sorry Drew, didn’t whip out the camera till you had already left.)

But the tequila helped and on my way home I climbed another one of the trees next to the steel corrugated studio building behind my house.

DAY 975 12.04.09 – Was making last minute preparations for my origami Christmas ornament sale at the BBC Taproom.

I was frantically drawing my signs and finishing my bourbon barrel light strands and remembered I needed to get a bunch of ones and fives for change. I ran to Kroger, got my change, then ran over beyond the CVS and found a tree off the sidewalk. I scurried up, shot a few shots then raced back down to load up and go.

The sale went well… at least for my first one. Lots of nice responses and I sold 8 of 57. Thanks to all my friends who supported me and bought one. Really appreciate it. I still got plenty left if you’re interested.

DAY 976 12.05.09 – Another Parkour meet-up at the Waterfront. Thankfully the sky was clear blue but it was still pretty damn cold. We ran to the playground by the Great Lawn and started trying to make a lava loop. That’s where you start at point A and connect a bunch of different obstacles back to that starting point without touching the ground. Mark and I diligently found the quickest method around, forward and backward as Jeremy observed. Many of the obstacles involved swinging from and onto trees. I was going to consider those my tree climbs… but later, near the Belvedere, I climbed down one River Birch

(see I climbed over the white rail and into that close limb, then slid down the trunk)

and up another.

(then I shimmied up the crooked leaning trunk back up to the rail)

Wore me out with all the leg squeezing and shimmying. Good work out though.

DAY 977 12.06.09 – After dinner at the North End Cafe with my parents I needed to climb. So I ventured behind Kaviar Forge

and found a mighty Hackberry tree to overcome. I used all the perfectly protruding hollow knots and most of my first hand and footholds. Then from there, with ingenuity and shear will I made it to the top of the beast.

It was quite the feat and I thought to myself… I get to the tops of trees, that’s what I do. I don’t hesitate anymore. If I see that there is a possibility, I just go for it. And it feels so damn good when I reach that top. And the view that night was spectacular as well.

I love solving the climbing riddles in the trees.

DAY 978 12.07.09 – Walked to Peterson Street off Frankfort and headed towards Barret Traditional Middle School. Just before I got there my eye was caught by the most beautiful silhouette of a tree. Massive, tall, with branches all the way from the bottom to the top. It was a monster of a Sweetgum with a path seemingly visible. Thankfully it was night, cold and no one was around to deter me. I approached the trunk and the lowest branch was in reach. I got to it thirsty for the climb. I went up methodically and carefully on the slightly damp limbs. They were strong and wide and I had little trouble. Near the top the limbs thinned and I had to use some of my best tricks to get up to the very top. What a view!

Again the Louisville skyline bright in the distance.

I shot and shot and shot and had a smile on my face the whole time. I looked around me and I was so high. I must have been 75 feet up easy. This is one of those memorable trees and climbs that will stick with me. And when someone asks what tree is my favorite, it will rank near the top.

Happy Birthday, Nat… here’s a shot of Louisville for you.