I am taking a break from eastern Washington this week, however, I just returned from a trip there and got some potentially interesting photos that I will share later. The tree photos that I am sharing this week are very personal – a reminder of my youth.
Trees have always been important to me. This is attested to by the gallery of trees on my site and a soon to be added additional gallery. Recently I have been scanning old negatives and interpreting or reinterpreting them digitally. During that process I discovered a short series that I took in the mixed forest woodlots near my parents home in San Jose, CA. I grew up in San Jose and spent time hiking, discovering my extreme reaction to the ubiquitous poison oak, and encountering wildlife ranging from wild turkeys, deer, raccoons, skunks, to various snakes found in the surrounding foothills; hence the nostalgia in my later years. The air is redolent of eucalyptus oil, molding earth and bay leaves. In many places there is little undergrowth because of the very limited light and exudations from the introduced eucalyptus. There are occasional glimpses of long untended wood fences and watering troughs that are reminders this was once part of a vast cattle ranch (occasionally cattle still graze in the area). It was an era when Santa Clara Valley was world famous for its prune and nut orchards, and tanned farmers, before becoming Silicon Valley with ‘orchards’ of computers and housing developments, wealth and crowding. I could not be sharing this with you without the latter but cannot help but rue the loss of the former.
I like this series and hope that you do as well.