Branched Embrace

I spent a large part of my youth living deep in a forest that was relatively untamed, a temperate rainforest of bay laurel and Coastal live oak on the Inverness Ridge in California, part of the Point Reyes Peninsula north of San Francisco.

Dusk falls on Inverness Ridge
Dusk falls on Inverness Ridge

There are large stands of Bishop pine and Douglas fir on the same peninsula, much of which is a national park. I was spoilt for trees.

On the Point Reyes Peninsula
On the Point Reyes Peninsula

I’m not ashamed to admit that I like some forests better than others, but in the end, any forest is a place of life.

Today is the International Day of Forests. Still under siege, still under threat of deforestation, still the single largest refuge for biodiversity on land.

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Bear Valley Park, Pt. Reyes Peninsula

Forests feel like home to those who grew up in them.

We are fortunate to live just a short walk from a forest of pine, oak and walnut trees here in France. There’s nothing quite like the sound of trees being amongst themselves, the creaks of branch against branch, the rustle of wind in the leaves. Between the forest and the sea, these sounds are home for me. They have embraced me for much of my life, a backdrop against which days are lived.

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All photos P.K. Read