Lake Tahoe PaintingThe air was a bit smoky around Lake Tahoe and around the San Francisco bay area because of all the forest fires in California this summer.

When I was a child, forests called to me. Fortunately I grew up near Lake Tahoe and was allowed to hike all day alone with my dog, so I could fulfill this powerful urge.

My parents would drive to New Jersey every summer for grandparent visits, and whenever we reached Pennsylvania, my nose would be pressed to the window staring at the forest. I longed to be able to wander in the mysterious shadows, but I could see it would be difficult to move between the trunks. The trees grow much more densely there than in Tahoe National Forest, as thick as broccoli bunches, thick enough you could build a house on top of them.

To this day, feeling the soil beneath my sneakers, listening to wildlife, and soaking up the quiet presence of trees, is comforting and satisfying. Forest light-4

The way light falls in the forest draws the eye, particularly when there is something reflective, like water or tree trunks rubbed white by time.

Rancho San Antonio, Cupertino, California

As much as thick forests attracted me as a child, as an adult, I like the more scattered forests of the high Sierra. The separation among the trees happens I think because of the rugged climate and also perhaps because not many things can grow in a pine-needle carpet.

Tahoe National Forest
Tahoe National Forest

Walking through a stretch of forest like the last photo gives a satisfying crunch as your sneakers come down on the twigs…but nowadays, I stick more to the trails.

Perhaps my spirit is not as drawn to mystery any more. The cost of becoming an adult, I suppose. But at least I can still enjoy walking in the woods.

6 thoughts on “Smoky skies and forest light

    1. Thank you, Laurie! I liked those too. I’m not sure why. I saw them and took two shots. Then a few years later in looking for some forest shots, I was drawn to that one again.


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