Un arbre près d'Arris by Rhoufi

A snap frozen tree standing proudly on the razorback ridge near Arris, high in the Massif de L’Aurès, Algeria, where you can look down over the Sahara while standing ankle-deep in snow.

Just down the road from:

And further South:

1979, Rollei 35B, Kodachrome

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algeria, arris, l’aurès, snow, tree

To reveal art and conceal the artist,
is art’s aim.

Oscar Wilde – “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

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  • robpixaday
    robpixadayalmost 5 years ago

    Oh, my goodness!! this is incredibly and beautiful!!!!

  • robpixaday
    robpixadayalmost 5 years ago

    Sorry about that typo!
    This is incredible and beautiful!!!!

    There…that’s the way it was supposed to be.

    What an amazing image!!!!

  • Hi Robin, so good to have you as the first to comment. This tree seemed to be a real survivor – all by itself, standing against howling winds laden with snow and ice. We climbed and climbed and climbed to be near it and then we freestyled down an incredibly steep slope in the snow without skis, just using our boots to slow up. Never been so scared in all my life. My friend was fearless, so I followed him.

    BTW: the story is coming along, but it’s a tough one; soon

    – Rhoufi

  • aartwaven
    aartwavenalmost 5 years ago

    I seem to remember a title similar to your description ………………….‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ ………. or something like that. I saw this pic last night and I I keep looking at. It seems almost surreal, like it was plucked from somewhere else and placed there as a message. Story?

  • Hi Aart (? – seems a bit….male). Everything about that part of the world is surreal. That I even got out of Algeria alive still surprises me. And it was “do it anyway” alright. Truly a leap of faith, literally off a cliff. It’s difficult to explain how it works: you kind of accept the momentum of the fall, the rush of speed and just pat the surface of the snow with your feet to keep going; then when it gets too fast (like you could die any second, dashed against a rock) you let your feet dig into the snow to slow up, but before completely stopping you jump again and start falling again. So you career down the slope out of control, but not quite, until it levels out and you fall over in the snow, face up, heart racing and laughing like lunatics. I watched my friend go first in disbelief, but was the sort of person you’d follow anywhere. Life’s been a little tame since then :-) Thanks heaps for noticing the special quality of this tree and for your thoughtful comment.

    Story? If you mean ‘is there a story in the pipeline about this tree?’…well one already exists, but it’s not for the Internet, too long and because….just because. But I might do something shorter, along the lines of this response – you’ve got me thinking, thank you.

    If you mean what’s my BTW to Robin all about – I’m struggling with a story based on one of her photos. It’s a bit obscure still, but I hope to open it up a bit this week – I was just sending her an update.

    Phew! big reply

    – Rhoufi

  • Andrew  Makowiecki
    Andrew Makowi...almost 5 years ago

    I am green with envy Rhoufi what a place to be mate. In Algeria before tourism was so big, in the snow overlooking the Sahara ooooooh. lol.

    This looks like a mindblowing place

  • Thanks Andrew, yes it was – it has never left my mind (see above). How I ended up there is a very long, solo hitchhiker’s story. I am slowly putting down the stories as creative non-fiction. I’m not a fan of memoir. Digging out the photos is the start, finding the time is the problem. Thanks for the enthused response.

    – Rhoufi

  • aartwaven
    aartwavenalmost 5 years ago

    whew, big reply for sure, but then you are a fan of the written word. “lucky to get out alive” – makes me even more curious

  • Algeria at the time was an unknown destination for hitchhikers – no entry at all in “Let’s Go Europe”. I went in across the border with Meillia (Spanish province in Morroco) and travelled completely blind right across to Tunisia. At the time the border was closed because of the war in Chad, but they let me in (mad but harmless, they must have thought). So you can imagine the trouble I got into – too long a story, but that part of the adventure ended at the border with Tunisia where they detained me for 3 days because I had no visa and an expired visa for Algeria. So many things could have gone wrong, and nearly did, but someone must have been watching over me. It was the people that I met who helped me, and who I owe so much. I hope that satisfies, in part at least, your boundless curiosity.

    – Rhoufi

  • aartwaven
    aartwavenalmost 5 years ago


  • Dear Aart, my day would not be the same without a comment from you :-D

    – Rhoufi

  • Gwynne Brennan
    Gwynne Brennanalmost 5 years ago

    That tree looks like it is made of plastic clip together thingys like kids play with. I love the tones across this – this is art!

  • That tree was a special tree, it stood out and asked to be approached. I had to use B+W because the slide scan was so bad. In colour, displayed on a good projector the blues are luminescent and the snow on the branches reflect that blue. But the scan and the age killed the beauty of the Kodachrome (this causes me some pain believe me). So it might be the scanning that makes it look a bit weird. But I agree, it is still very artistic and in the flesh it was majestic in the surrounding landscape.

    – Rhoufi

  • calvinincalif
    calvinincalifover 4 years ago

    Please share/post this image with the Group One Tree at a Time

  • Thank you Calvin, what a wonderful invitation. I have done so, Cheers

    – Rhoufi

  • DJ LeMay
    DJ LeMayover 4 years ago

    It does look rather out of place there… all by itself.. like it’s standing guard. And to stand in snow while looking down at the Sahara! Wow! Had no idea that was even possible. Sounds like an incredibly exhilarating experience to freestyle down the mountain! What a fascinating life you’ve led, Rhoufi!

  • Hi again DJ,wow you do me a great honour, visiting my gallery for so long and really looking carefully and leaving nice detailed comments – I love that immediate contact with another world. The stories I have to tell about Algeria are endless (see above) and I can say for sure I will never forget a single detail. My life at that time was pretty full on, I must admit. But I came home eventually and married and had kids and it all got very quiet and safe – very satisfying in it’s own way, but I do miss the unplanned travel: standing at a cross roads and trying to decide where to next; and a few days later waking up in a sleeping bag looking across a perfectly still, ebony lake at the fortress mountains of Albania. I never got tired of the thrill of things like that, never will. Really nice to chat with you DJ. I’ll try to spend a bit more time in your gallery soon. A town without roads, 80 miles of grizzly bears and a garage for your seaplane sure is something I’d like to see. Keep your photos coming, DJ, it’s the only way forthe moment :—-)))

    – Rhoufi

  • Sassafras
    Sassafrasalmost 3 years ago

    Un arbre pousse en Algérie et est recouverte de neige.
    Pure magie … purement magnifique!
    ~ sass

  • Nous avons grimpé pendant des heures pour y arriver et puis nous avons couru et sauté sur les pentes abruptes à travers les congères en seulement quelques minutes pour revenir à la route. Qu’est-ce qu’un souvenir.
    Merci, daor Sass

    – Rhoufi

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