Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Forest green

with 35 comments


Oh, look at the lush green of the forest—the ferns, the mosses, the trees—at Muir Woods National Monument as I experienced it on October 29th. This place is just 12 miles north of San Francisco in a metropolitan area of millions and is therefore one of the most popular nature sites in the country. Unfortunately we ended up having to visit on a Saturday, when the multiple parking lots had filled up early and parked cars lined the country road for half a mile. None of that need trouble you in this tranquil picture.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 24, 2016 at 5:01 AM

35 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Fabulous image, Steve! I love all that lush green moss and fern fronds. Paradise on Earth!

    Pete Hillman

    December 24, 2016 at 6:52 AM

    • If you’ve never been to this place or any of the other redwood tree forests in central California, you can add them to your list. Fortunately we managed to visit three of them on this trip.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 24, 2016 at 7:48 AM

  2. Very tranquil indeed! So lush and rich. I’m sure this is how Muir saw it himself.

    Birder's Journey

    December 24, 2016 at 7:49 AM

    • Many things up there are named after Muir. In addition to this place, which we drove to on Muir Woods Rd., we visited Muir Beach and the John Muir National Historic Site. The region is part of a modern American metropolitan area, but fortunately some places have been kept in a natural state.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 24, 2016 at 8:09 AM

      • Thank heavens for those forward-thinking pioneer nature-loving conservationists.

        Birder's Journey

        December 24, 2016 at 2:47 PM

        • There are also other preserves in the area that don’t bear his name but that follow in his spirit.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 24, 2016 at 3:12 PM

  3. Exotic Greens – such a rich palette. A beautiful scene, Steve.


    December 24, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    • Are there similarly lush forests in Britain?

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 24, 2016 at 10:16 AM

      • Not to a great extent, but even in small woods (in unlikely places), there are places like this.


        December 25, 2016 at 6:40 AM

        • Perhaps many more such places existed thousands of years ago, before people cleared land for farming and pasturing.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 25, 2016 at 6:48 AM

  4. Have you been to Glacier NP yet? There is a temperate rain forest on the west side that seems very out of place for the area. Looks just like that! I do love the greens in varying degrees of saturation and hue of the trees, ferns, mosses together. So soothing.


    December 24, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    • No, Glacier is one of the national parks we haven’t yet visited. Thanks for mentioning the similar-looking temperate rain forest on its west side; that’s one more reason to visit there. In fact I’d like to combine it with the adjacent Waterton Lakes in Canada and Banff farther north.

      Austin has some forested canyons, but because of the lower rainfall nothing like the cloud forests we saw in central California, with moss as heavy as in today’s picture. Soothing indeed.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 24, 2016 at 11:08 AM

  5. Such a lovely, lush photograph! Happy holidays to you, and warm wishes for the New Year.

    Susan Scheid

    December 24, 2016 at 4:43 PM

  6. Happy holidays


    December 24, 2016 at 6:54 PM

  7. Beautiful, Steve! I visited there many years ago and never wanted to leave. A green wood is something special. Happy holidays, and thank you for brightening our days with so many images of beauty throughout the year.


    December 25, 2016 at 5:52 AM

    • You’re most welcome, Lynn. A green wood is indeed something special, different from what we have in central Texas and therefore all the more to be relished in central California. I understand why you never wanted to leave. We ended up visiting three such places, all devoted to redwoods but of course fostering other trees as well as ferns, mosses, and lichens. At least you have the deciduous forests of Pennsylvania close at hand, with their great fall foliage.

      Happy holidays to you, too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 25, 2016 at 6:01 AM

  8. The light seems almost tangible. Writing about the mountains of California, Muir says, “There is no repose like that of the green deep woods,” and your photo suggests he was right. Was it as quiet as it appears?


    December 25, 2016 at 8:36 PM

    • Alas, no. We had to go on the weekend, and the paths swarmed with domestic and foreign tourists. Visually, though, any view that didn’t include people, like this one, still looked peaceful.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 25, 2016 at 9:30 PM

      • From what you say, it must have been akin to visiting Lost Maples in a particularly colorful year: or trying to visit. More than once I’ve given up and simply driven on, rather than sitting in a line of traffic for hours. It’s good that people want to see the beauty, but the frustrations can be significant.


        December 25, 2016 at 9:34 PM

        • When we went to Lost Maples three autumn ago we made sure to go during the week. On the big Southwest trip, we had to go somewhere each weekend day, and Muir Woods turned out to be one of those places. The previous Saturday and Sunday we were in Zion, which you’ve heard was a zoo. Some of the national parks have been described as getting loved to death.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 25, 2016 at 9:44 PM

  9. It is so very tranquil .. love that green 😃


    December 26, 2016 at 1:05 AM

  10. Handsome image – nice light, and with no sense of all of the people behind you on the trails. I’ve been to Muir Woods a number of times – it’s four miles from the place I stay at in Mill Valley when I’m out that way.
    Best wishes for 2017…


    December 27, 2016 at 9:28 PM

    • Thanks, Tom. You’re fortunate to stay just four miles from there when you’re in the area. We were staying in San Ramon, about 45 minutes or an hour to the southeast.

      I wish you a happy 2017 and many more excellent pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 27, 2016 at 9:40 PM

      • Mill Valley is a beautiful place – I’ll visit there in a few weeks, there are often wildflowers in January. Some year I’ll go in March when there are more flowers, including native orchids…


        December 27, 2016 at 10:29 PM

        • I just read up on Mill Valley:


          From decades ago I remember Mill Valley as the location of a company but I can’t remember what company it was.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 28, 2016 at 6:35 AM

          • I can’t imagine what company it was. It’s a residential town, known in the late 60s and 70s as a place where rock musicians lived – it’s still trendy. For me, natural beauty is the attraction: the bay, wildlife, Mt Tam, and the hills of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.


            December 28, 2016 at 10:56 AM

            • I’m afraid the name of the company still hasn’t come to me and probably never well. In any case, it’s great that you’ll be visiting such a scenic area soon. I was certainly glad to have spent even a little time in the vicinity .

              Steve Schwartzman

              December 28, 2016 at 12:53 PM

  11. […] teasing you here with pictures from redwood preserves, first the Armstrong Grove and then Muir Woods, I’m finally providing a clear shot of a California redwood tree, Sequoia sempervirens, from […]

  12. This is stunning Steve. I was just there a couple weeks ago…in the rain. What a wonderful almost jungle-like, tropical experience. This girl from Jersey was amazed.


    February 17, 2017 at 10:23 PM

    • And this guy (originally) from New York felt the same way. A few days ago in the rain I experienced a similarly green piece of forest in northern New Zealand.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 18, 2017 at 12:42 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: