Monday, July 09, 2012

How is it that I've lived in this corner of the world for almost six years, and have not until this last month fully appreciated the intoxicating perfume that is a ponderosa pine forest in mid-summer?

ponderosa pine forest

It's like a drug that I can't get enough of.  Emma and I go out geocaching and I feel like my lungs aren't big enough- I breathe in that scent until I'm lightheaded and giddy and convinced that the world has a purpose and I have a place in it.

breathtaking view

I guess I've just never noticed before, as impossible as that seems, beyond "oh, pine tree smell"...  Granted, last summer was a miserable blur of Shaun leaving me, and the summer before was a miserable blur of anemia.  I wanted to curl up in a ball and shut out the world, and hiking through the forest was absolute last on my list of things I wanted to do.

hiking girl

Now, though- now I drink in the waves of ponderosa and sagebrush scents that billow down from the hillsides in warm golden resinous clouds.  Even in town, it washes over me.  I can't turn on the air conditioner, because that shuts out the living air.  The forest exhales and I come alive.

There is really nothing like it.


(The first two pictures are from a geocaching adventure in the Wallowa Whitman National Forest, 8 miles northwest of my house; the second two are from Catherine Creek State Park, 20 miles southeast, measured as the raven flies.)


katie said...

sigh. so good to read this, so happy to see these pics. (admittedly, too, a little envious.) we need to come visit you guys next summer, ok?

PJ said...

ahh, yes, Nature calling. It is so sweet! I was thinking about myself yesterday sitting on the back patio filling my lungs with distance smell of rain and watching clouds and it occured to's like a rainstorm- gentle rain, fierce lightening..and---on the other side-- sweet goodness.
{I'm almost there}
what a wonderful post you did I could almost smell it through the screen! awww