Fantastic Trees and Where to Find Them: Okinawa, Japan

This post might be a little more accurately titled "Fantastic Tree *Roots* and Where to Find Them... but it just doesn't flow quite as well as the original title! 

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These fantastic roots were found in Okinawa, Japan. I was off on an adventure to find some wilderness, or at least a night away from the city lights with the intent to camp on a little beach cove I'd found on a map. At the time I had a mini-minivan, seriously it had the sliding side doors and all, only it was the size of a car. The road to get down to the beach just added to the adventure with how rough it was, but Dobby, my mini-minivan dealt with the giant potholes and rutted trail, which meant that I was actually able to get to and camp at the beach cove. While I was there I hadn't planned on doing much photography, but these tree roots growing around a boulder caught my eye, so I grabbed my camera and captured some photos of the fantastic roots.

Has anything caught your eye to the point where you change plans to photograph it, or even just go back to see it a little more closely?

Fantastic Trees and Where to Find Them: Glacier National Park, Montana

To say that I was unimpressed is a HUGE understatement to what was going through my mind upon arriving at the St. Mary Falls trailhead in Glacier National Park. The last few miles along the road wandering through the park all of the trees were burnt. A forest fire must have swept through a few years ago, leaving the trees charred and the landscape looking barren. The road through Glacier had been full of grandiose landscapes, jutting mountain tops, distant glaciers, and a few really adorable mountain goats, which made the stark, crispy landscape even more disappointing to me. So there I was at the trailhead, unimpressed, uninspired, underwhelmed and unable to see the beauty that was hidden by my not so great attitude. 

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It took around half of the way to St. Mary's Falls along with some pretty stern mental conversations with myself before I started to begrudgingly see the beauty amongst the blacked trunks. I think I may have needed the reminder though, to not just look for the beauty around the trees, but to find the beauty in them as well. So here are some fantastic trees, even if they are a bit on the charred side. This view was looking down river from St. Mary's Falls.

Fantastic Trees and Where to Find Them: Joshua Tree National Park, California

To be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely sure where Joshua trees fall on the range of tree to cactus. However, they have tree in their name, so it's just going to have to count today! 

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Joshua trees can only be found in a pretty small swatch of the southwest, concentrated in the Mojave desert. I think that Joshua trees kind of look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book with their spiky poofs of leaves. The place to really experience them though is Joshua Tree National Park. While you're at the park you can wander through forests of Joshua trees, or pick your way up to the top of one of the ginormous boulder piles. Look closely and you may see some smaller cacti blooming and use sun protection while you're there... I learned that one from experience!

Fantastic Trees and Where to Find Them: San Clemente, California

Middle of summer and my mind can't help but to wander to palm trees. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and are often found in warm areas. I think there are a few planted around Seattle, though I'm not sure how they survive the winter here.  If you look closely enough you can almost hear the waves crashing onto the beach, every so often hearing the wind as it plays in the palm fronds, catching the smell of salt in the air and feel the warmth of the southern California sun beaming down on you. 

These fantastic palm trees were found in San Clemente, California. They are right on the main part of the beachfront, not too far away from the pier that juts out into the ocean. 

Fantastic Trees and Where to Find Them: Hidden Lake Trail, Washington

Some trees that I post about will be really easy to see for yourself, if you're in the area of course. Other trees require miles of hiking and a whole lot of determination to see in person. I'm not a great hiker, but the lure of stunning views and a chance to photograph them will get me to hike places I never really pictured myself going. However, even if you never hike here, you can still enjoy the photos I captured while hiking!

These fantastic trees were above the tree line in the Northern Cascade Mountains along the Hidden Lake Trail. Apparently the Northern Cascade Mountains are sometimes referred to as the American Alps, which makes sense when you see the alpine meadows, rocky alcoves and snow capped peaks. 

Have you gone hiking at all this summer?