Historically, serpents and snakes represent fertility or a creative life force. As snakes shed their skin through sloughing, they are symbols of rebirth, transformation, immortality, and healing. The ouroboros is a symbol of eternity and continual renewal of life.
This tree reminded me of a cobra rearing its head, body and tail coiled on the barren earth below. Abstract, yes, but in defiance to the inevitable demise in this stark landscape. The symbolic snake in complete contrast to the lifeless surroundings.
It is, of course, in fact, one of the ancient dead trees of Dead Vlei in Namibia, with the midday sun beating down from right above, and the red dunes surrounding the ancient lake in relief against the contrasting blue sky.
Namibia, land of contrasts. Land of rebirth. Land of unlikely survival.