What’s in a forest sky?

By now with social media injection into our daily lives we all have seen an image of the forest sky. You know when your hiking through a forest and you look up and see nothing but trees you take out your camera and snap a photo of the view above your head. Why do you think that is so interesting to folks?

The image above captures the dark mood of an Atlantic cedar grove with a cedar burl nicely. So what is the mood or feelings that the hiker is experiencing while staring at the forest canopy above? I’ll wager its a combination of things. If they are alone and new to the trail area it may be a bit of fear as the trees of the forest eclipse the sun. Giving the person a feeling of confinement. Hopefully that is but a fleeting emotion one that is hardwired into our caveman’s DNA.

Another feeling or mood that captures my thoughts at these moments can be described in a song lyric by Leon Russell. He sang, “And I love you in a place where there’s no space or time. I’ve loved you for my life, you are a friend of mine”. I find happiness in that moment. A sense that the trees are forever. That each single tree is but a part of the one living thing- the forest. The trees at the top they all got there over years of growth but that growth was together. Each tree’s presence inspired the surrounding trees to reach for the sky. The sunlight was their goal their reward was a long life surrounding by family.

If you know the forest trees that you are looking at well enough you may feel and understand your own life’s timeline and the space that it takes up. The trees above may stand as a reminder to you that your short time on this earth is dwarfed by the time these green sentinels enjoy. When one stands in a Florida Bald cypress forest and realizes the trees towering above are over 500 years in age one can not but feel young and question one’s own use of time on Earth. It’s definitely time well spent when one wanders into the woods!

I’m in love with the woods. Leon Russell explains it so well, “I’ve loved you for my life, you are a friend of mine.” I hope everyone looks up when in the woods and a new budding romance takes hold of their lives with nature. The forests are worth fighting for when you truly understand all that they mean to the people.

Humor me here and play along. The game below is to figure out what forest canopy are we looking at. I’ll list the forest types and you figure out if; A) you’ve seen and experienced that glorious view before and B) what tree type dominates the view. Three are Jersey inspired and two are Florida inspired. List of names are: Atlantic White Cedar, White Pine, Pitch pine, Slash pine, and Pond Cypress. Till we run into each other in Leon’s “place where there’s no space or time” take care of yourself.

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