The dunes and the sky
I went on a walk on the Massachusetts north shore to search for gnarly trees. It’s a well-known beach with miles of sandy trails that criss-cross hilly dunes. The dunes aren’t all sand. There’s a lot of low growth was well as trees. There’s strict closing policy for the parking area (“gates close at 4:18 pm”) so I had to leave the dunes before sunset. I found one gnarly tree, and on the way out, this sunset over the coastline marshes:
The tree is one I photographed last year after a tip from a friend. I wanted to go back to photograph the tree in different light, and to find a second tree I missed photographing last year because I needed to rush back to my car to avoid getting locked in. Of course, I missed finding that tree this time. The dunes were beautiful in the late afternoon light, but I was glad I had to leave at sunset to see this sky above the forested islands in the marshy bay.
Great sunset colors.
Do winds blowing in from the ocean account for the way the tree leans so conspicuously?
Yes, I suppose it could have been the wind, though other trees there grew upright. The sun set was astonishing.
We have the same kind of trees on our Atlantic coast designed by the wind. Amazing sunset !
I love gnarly trees. The sunset was breathtaking. Happy new year!
The tree in the first photo reminds me of our coastal oaks, especially around the mid-coast. The consistent, strong winds keep them small, and inclined away from the wind. I’d suspect the same thing here. I’ve seen it in Arkansas mountains, too. The Encyclopedia of Arkansas says:
“As the highest mountains in the Ouachitas, Rich Mountain and Blackfork Mountain are typical Fourche Mountain ridges. Since they are very tall and extend in an east-west direction, they actually affect the climate of western Arkansas… forest communities of the upper north-facing slopes of the mountains may be lush and moist, while forests right on the ridge tops may be stunted by frost, fog, and wind, with trees often no higher than twenty feet tall. In 1819, British traveler Thomas Nuttall crossed these ridges and commented on the stunted forest.”
That aside, the colors of the sky and the delicate clouds are unusually beautiful. What a great place to be able to visit.
On Cape Cod recently, I heard about a grove of trees with curved trunks, affected by the weather. The cypresses on the California coast have a windblown look like this tree.
When I go back to this area, I’ll spend more time in the marshes, the forested islands are beautiful. And hope for a similar sky!