My first few days in California were splendid, with sunny skies and temps in the 70s. It’s been fun being around the horses, dogs and chickens while shooting horse related photos. However, yesterday the temperature dropped, the clouds rolled in and the rain began. While that may not be a big problem under normal circumstances, because I am staying in a tepee for the week, it has presented a few issues I have not had to deal with before. For instance, the tepee has a hole at the top and rain comes in where the smoke vents. There are flaps that can be closed to minimize the amount of rain coming in, but you cannot completely close the opening, nor would you want to, unless you like sleeping in a smokehouse when you have a fire going. On the up side, just like when camping in a tent, the sound of rain on the outside of the tepee is wonderful. I’ve woken up to that sound two mornings in a row and I’ve enjoyed laying in my well padded sleeping bag listening to the random drops hitting the canvas.
There is an added element of specialness in that this property is situated on a hilltop covered with redwoods. I have hiked in the Muir Woods park north of San Francisco a couple of times, but have never slept with the giants. I have discovered that they are very difficult to photograph and have resigned myself to just being in their presence and basking in their majesty. There is a silence in these woods that is holy and I stand in reverence as I stare upward to the place where their crowns touch the sky. I’ve also realized, as I look closely at the bark, that each tree is an ecosystem unto itself. Each harbors various forms of life, from the smallest, unseen lifeforms, to insects, mammals and birds. It will be interesting to see if when I return to Minnesota next week, if our local pine trees will seem tiny in comparison, although many of them are also quite large. Just not this large!