ATOY Grand Prize Winner
The Protected Tree
Life cannot be found in noise and restlessness.
Nature is the friend of silence.
It amazes me when I reach to this beautiful tree far from the city at a hilltop which is living in Peace and understands my soul even without speaking a word. I often travel to this place to get rid of the city life and encounter a friendly ambiance.
It has seen so called development and urbanization of cities which have almost devastated the essence of nature, but has continued to stand still and adamant. It is the time we acknowledge that "NATURE" is always at the top which is made evident by this "TREE". Besides, this Peepal tree holds a religious importance which is also a key factor for its survival.
ATOY - Sri Lanka 1st Prize Winner
The Lone Ranger
Resiliency in the Face of Adversity The harsh sun shines relentlessly. The occasional rain barely creates a water flow. The dry winds howls as it blows unceasingly. Despite the harsh conditions faced in the depths of Yala National Park, the Lone Ranger is the only one of her kind to flourish among the other thirsty species surrounding her. Palu (Manilkara hexandra) one of the most dominant, native fruiting trees. We don’t know where she came from, or how she got here. Perhaps it was the rare flood that washed a seed here, or perhaps she hitched a ride on the back of a wandering animal (ELPHANT?). But she took root here, a stranger in a strange land.
So she can spread more of her kind even in the harsh conditions. She overcame the arid conditions and the adversity that lay before her. Her resilience shows how remarkable trees are and their ability to adapt and live successfully amongst those that aren’t their own kind. We as humans should be able to follow this example; it doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like or who you live with; what matters is how you live, holding onto the earth with deep roots, spreading your branches out in welcome and embrace, smiling up at the sky, providing share, comfort and hope to those around.
ATOY - Sri Lanka 2nd Prize Winner
The Maara Tree
People always talk about the things that they are lacking in the life while the most important thing to do is to be strong with the things that they have already got and moving forward with life. It's all about our attitude that matters. These trees are a good example for that. Even though they usually inherit in the land, but they have grown in the water and have been spread out their bare tree branches proudly towards the sky. So, we should not destroy these trees that teach us those valuable life lessons. Instead, we should see them grow over the years with us...