After months of warm, dry, sunny days, we have had rain this week. On the other side of the mountains there is great relief, as people coping with Washington’s worst wildfire season ever get a break. As I took these photos a fine mist was falling, moistening leaves that are beginning to fade into the subtle tones of early fall.

The tall, straight trees are Douglas firs, a signature tree of the Pacific Northwest. In our area nearly every road is lined with Doug fir, producing a treeline of zigs and zags. Like roughly torn paper, their irregular branches create a distinctive silhouette.

In the second and last photos, Big Leaf Maples reach across the frame. Their leaves can be the size of dinner plates.  Behind the Doug fir tree trunk in the third photo, a Western redcedar’s graceful branches absorb the light.  Dense, symmetrical trees, the cedar branch tips have a way of reaching towards and relaxing with the light.  Another Western redcedar is in the background of the last photo.

The photos were taken from a deck three stories up, which is about half the height of this little patch of woods. Increasing the contrast and saturation in these photos might produce a more conventionally attractive image, but I held them back to reveal the subtleties of the moisture-laden air.


  1. Beautiful West Coast forest with that wonderful soft lighting – well done Lynne! We have had over 7 inches of rain this past week – more rain than we had between May to mid-August. The forest is coming alive again and the warm, moist air brings out wonderful woodland scents that I’m sure you experienced taking this great photos.


    • Wow, you really got it! Yes, I’ve been loving the evergreen scents lately. I’ve noticed a number of smaller deciduous trees used in landscaping (in the city and suburbs) took a real hit with the drought and look dead. But I expect most will survive and be green again next year. Thanks for the compliments!


    • Thanks Susan! It’s the everyday perspective – a perch up n the trees – in New York I had much bigger view, and this one felt a little closed in at first, but I’ve come to appreciate it. And as you know, photographing something over and over helps with that.


  2. We’re getting some of that morning fog (which I adore), but not a whole lot of rain. Every little bit helps. Have to agree with Kenneth, you really and truly got the essence of a Pacific NW woods. Love it!


    • Nice to hear a compliment from an expert! 😉 Our rain has been pretty good, I think. But of course it doesn’t make up for the lack of snow pack from last winter, etc. But we went into the foothills of the North Cascades yesterday and saw about 14 salmon working their way up the Sauk River. That’s good!

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  3. Lovely images, Lynn, and the 2nd down (the landscape format one) really gets to me – love the partially obscured but in focus trunk, those few yellowing leaves in the foreground – and the four wonderfully ghostly trunks off at the back – could easily live with that on my wall! Adrian


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