The Late Afternoon Light
I love the way the late afternoon light filters through a Sierran forest. It lands
first on the uppermost branches of the sugar pine, highlighting the blue-green
clusters of needles and the huge russet cones that hang down like Christmas
ornaments. Then it shines on the maroon-undertoned bark of the red fir and its
dressing of neon-green wolf lichen. It then reflects off the flat leaves of the
manzanita and its smooth red bark. In meadows it dances over the tall white
stalks of corn lilies and ushers a bit of fragrance from the spotted orange leopard
lilies. The insects that were hiding from the mid-day sun come out to fly over the
delicate geraniums and rein orchids and little bits of light gleam from their wings.
The bear print in the dust looks a little more ominous as twilight approaches and a
few juncos startle me as they start chirping from their perch in the white fir. As
I walk down the trail my senses are heightened and I long to take it all in. Soon,
however, I reach my truck parked at the trailhead and I know it's time to head

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