On a fall hike on a muddy trail up Olema Ridge in Point Reyes National Seashore I kept looking for a forest scene that would show the grandeur of the ancient trees along the path. The path was dry and after four miles hiking and a half hour of off-trail bushwhacking I finally reached the top of the ridge. There was no view at all, just trees, bushes and a thicket of overgrown vegetation.

The light was dim and nothing magnificent appeared until, returning, I crossed a stream near the end of the hike and looked down. The quiet presentation of rocks and leaves in a shaded dell, simple color and a quiet energy, finally gave me the image I had been seeking that day – unexpected as often the best images are.

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