A Hike to the Pine Forest - Part 2

It isn't too far to the Cascades from the Yellow Spring and you definitely hear it before you see it. We had a large amount of rainfall in recent days and the water was high and moving fast. Coming from the quietness of the trail to the Cascade it was almost deafening.

Instead of stopping and photographing the Cascades I decided to push on to the Pine Forest and maybe stop at the Cascades on the way back. I had spent more time at the Yellow Spring than I intended, the sun was burning off the fog and I feared the ethereal feel of the morning would be lost by the time I reached the Pine Forest.

The path to the Pine Forest is a fairly easy trail, its well defined and mostly flat, it is just rather long. It seems to go on and on, you begin to wonder if you are going the right way. You will feel reassured by the semi-frequent signs telling you the shortest route back to the parking lot that you are making progress.

This particular part of the trail is one of my favorites. You are surrounded by tall skinny trees and dense vegetation that covers the ground as far as you can see. I have come across deer in this area fairly often and this day was no exception. 

I was starting to think I gave up on the Cascades too quick and maybe I should have saved the Pine Forest for a time when the conditions were more favorable. Just about that time though I was greeted by this tree monster.

I know it takes a bit of imagination, which after hiking through the forest by myself for a few hours, mine was off and running. You can kind of see arms reaching out, a torso with a head that is either on fire or maybe just unruly hair.

There are several of these vine-tree-twitsty monsters through this section of the trail. These monsters provide a good landmark that you are on the right path when everything has started to look the same.

I always wonder how they ended up like this as both the vines and the tree look to be dead. Did the vines kill the tree? Did they both die from disease or did the other trees block out too much sun? 

Some of them look burnt, the black twisting vine tentacles are so intertwined with the tree that I lean towards that as the cause. This theory, however, still doesn't answer why the vines died.

Finally, I reached the destination. It had been a few years since I was here last, I think it was winter then. The trails were not as well defined as they once were. I am sure some of that is due to the spring growth along with reduced foot traffic thanks to the pandemic.

I spent quite a bit of time roaming through the pines but In the end I didn't find a composition that worked. It was still a calming, peaceful spot and definitely worth the hike.



Now that I made it to the Pine Forest it was time to head back to the Cascades and see if I could find a good composition there. I would be retracing my steps so there wouldn't be much to see along the way. I did stop to admire the most technical part of the trail, this creek crossing. As you can see it is not difficult at all.


As I got closer to the Cascades I first heard the overpowering sound of the cicadas (hello Brood X). I hadn't noticed them when I left the first time, perhaps the water was so loud that I didn't notice until everything was quiet again.

Finally arriving at the last stop on the hike, the Cascades. You can see there was a little fog left in the area but it was burning off pretty quickly. The foot bridge above the cascades provide a scenic overlook of Birch Creek.

 27mm, 1 sec at f11, ISO 100