I really like trees. So it's hard to decide on just one tree for this post, or just one photograph.
There's one tree, however, that is very special to me. It lives in a place that's very special to me, and it stands like a marker, a sentinal, a watcher.
The tree lives in Mount Rainier National Park, and is just the to side of the trail on one of my favorite hikes in the park. When I reach it, and have gone just beyond it, as I did when I took this picture, I know that I have the hardest part of the hike behind me. I may have to climb a bit still, but I'm well on my way now, up on the ridge. In the summer, when the sun shines and the air is warm, I feel I could stay up on the trail forever. It's always hard for me to leave.
I've read that the prevailing winds here can reach 100 miles per hour. One can see this is probably true, as the tree is missing branches on one side. But still it endures. Oh lucky tree, to have nothing to do but stand and watch over that view! To have time to listen and to absorb the quiet. To be able to hear the whispery voice of the wind in the quiet. Though I do not envy it the winter chill and winds, and being buried under the snow, which I'm sure it is right now.
Here it is in the summer sun: