Are you feeling the Halloween mood yet? While we love taking a walk in the woods, sometimes it can feel a little spooky. At Catoctin Mountain Park in Maryland, when the mist floats through the forest and the owls hoot from the trees, you could feel a little shiver. The sound of a snapping branch can startle you and your mind can imagine the strangest things. But there’s really nothing to fear here. Since the park’s boundaries include the Presidential Retreat of Camp David, it’s actually a really safe place. Photo by T. Zygmunt, National Park Service.
Certain places evoke a specific feeling. Redwood National and State Parks in California definitely qualifies. “When I think of the Redwood forest, I think of giant trees, lush green ferns, fog and beams of light shining through the forest canopy. This is exactly the feeling that I set out to capture during a recent trip to the Redwoods. While driving through the Del Norte Redwoods, I saw the light bursting through the trees, so I quickly pulled the car over, jumped out and ran into the forest, hoping that the light would last long enough to capture a few images,” said photographer David Dinette. We think he got it. Photo courtesy of David Dinette.
Happy 129th birthday, Sequoia National Park! Standing in the company of giant sequoias and looking up, what do you feel? For many, it is both a magical and dizzying experience. Established in 1890, Sequoia National Park in California was the first park created to protect a living organism. Trying to capture these magnificent trees in photos is difficult, as they can grow as tall as a 26-story building, averaging between 180 and 250 feet tall. Warning: you may be overwhelmed by the beauty of these towering trees. Photo of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks by Gourab Sabui (www.sharetheexperience.org).
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of this blog, I post my favourite pictures of the last year. Today, the results of my various forest excursions.
This shouldn’t be a surprise, but cypress trees are an important part of Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida. A cypress dome is a fascinating habitat. Forming over an underwater depression, the tallest trees grow in the deepest water and the smaller trees grow along the edge in the shallower water, giving the dome its shape. The trees’ wide bases help them absorb water and keep them stable in storms. Epiphytic plants attach themselves to the tree trunks, earning them the name of airplants. River otters and alligators make their homes here, too. It’s probably not a place you’d want to live, but the shade, colors and reflection are worth the visit. Photo by National Park Service.
National parks are more than massive western landscapes. Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio is a calming escape from the nearby urban centers of Cleveland and Akron. When you walk through the woods past waterfalls and wildlife to find your perfect spot along a babbling stream, you’ll know why national parks are national treasures. Every park has a secret to share. It’s up to you to get out there discover them. Photo by Jerry Jelinek (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Walking through a redwood grove on a fog-shrouded morning can be an unforgettable experience. Sounds are reduced to the musical gurgle of water trickling amongst ferns and mossy rocks. Light ebbs with the somber mist and shafts of sun hang like cobwebs. Stillness and peace weave their spells upon the respectful traveler. Seriously, it’s time to visit Redwood National & State Parks in California. Photo by Michael Wu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Merry christmas and a wonderful 2019!