A group of men in a remote part of British Columbia’s Northwest Territories has been documenting maple trees as they grow in their backyard.
The photos are the work of photographer, Paul Ritchie, who has been photographing these trees since 2010.
“I was just really bored with it, and wanted to do something that would bring a bit of a smile to my face,” he told Al Jazeera.
“So I started off by photographing the trees, but then I thought I should put it out there and maybe people could enjoy it a little bit more.”
Then I started putting it out in different locations and I found out that people would really like it and that people liked it.””
I started taking photos at different times, and I realised people really enjoy seeing them growing and they want to see the leaves on the trees.
“They like to see how they’re growing, they love seeing the maple trees.”
In February, the group published an Instagram story in which they described how they had taken more than 400 photos of the trees so far.
“It’s been a little crazy, but it’s been really rewarding,” said Ritchie.
“A lot of people come up to me and say ‘you’re a real genius’.”
There’s always some of the girls in the neighbourhood, there’s always girls that come and ask me, and some guys that come up and ask if they can take pictures.
“Paul Ritchie said the photos show a “sense of pride” in the treesThe pictures were a response to a post that Ritchie made on Instagram in May 2015, after seeing one of the tree’s leaves fall off in the woods.”
We’ve been going on a couple of trips here and there and it’s become a little thing that people come to see,” he said.”
There are a lot of different kinds of people that come to the site, some guys just want to photograph the trees and some girls are going to come and get some shots.
“Ritchie’s photos have been shared on Instagram more than 200,000 times.”
People come to this site and want to take a look at it and have a look, but they can’t because there’s a fence that’s blocking the way,” he added.”
The fence’s been there since the 1800s, and you can’t get in the way of the maple.
“But he said he was surprised at the reaction.”
Most people I’ve met that come down here, they’re actually quite surprised at how many photos there are,” he explained.”
In my experience, people really appreciate it, so they’re not too concerned about it being illegal.””
They really appreciate seeing a tree grow, they really appreciate the maple itself.
“Paul says he’s now taking the photos as a tribute to the treesWhile the photos are a way of expressing a sense of pride in the maple, Ritchie hopes that people will also take notice.”
At the end of the day, the maple is an incredibly important tree to the people of the Northwest Territories,” he noted.”
And to me, I want to do my bit to help them see that, and show people the beauty and the majesty of the forest.