The Secret of Forests

Have you ever gazed at a European forest and wondered what it is that makes them seem so gentle and expansive? I have. The other day I found the secret. Here it is.

Yes, horizontal leaves.

The light is so young and the leaves so blithe.  Shades of green are created by light filtering through chlorophyll past a tracery of limbs and woven veins.

In Australia, the bush and roadsides are lessons in the hues of green but the leaves are tough and vertical to avoid the glare and heat.  The light doesn’t pass through, it bounces right back off.

If one were to sketch a European forest, the pencil would be skipping horizontally, creating short planes and steps. In a forest. Amazing.

Throw in a path, a creek, (a bit of soft focus) and you’ve got faeryland.

16 responses to “The Secret of Forests

  1. Forests in Finland look very different from these although we are in Europe. We have for example: mixed forests including alder and aspen, pine forests, spruce forests and birch forests. Birch trees, we have three different types of them.

    Great blog.

  2. like a fairytale.. beaut

  3. Walking through the forest on Monteluco Mountain in Italy, we were supposedly following the footsteps of St. Francis. The woods had a magical quality, much like what you describe. I was traveling with a chorus and they sang as they stood among the trees. I was able to record a few stanzas and when I compared that with the same song with the formal recording inside a building, the song in woods was sweeter.

    • What a beautiful experience – almost like birdsong. I was rockclimbing once in the Italian Alps when, from a refugio below, rose the voices of a choir who had walked up there seemingly just to practise. So much more enchanting than in a building.

  4. And those horizontal leaves maximize light capture. Wonderful photos .. and yes, forests are special places.

  5. That’s an interesting observation. Australia is a harsh landscape, so different to what you find in Europe. Those photos of the forest are so beautiful. I would love to be strolling through there. xx

  6. It’s strange what you take for granted or normal. You’ve pointed something out to me that I’d never realised, lovely photos too !

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