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.
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.
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.
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.