The cool light of moon casts shadows in a forest of barren trees.
But the barrenness is a misnomer, actually: the forest only seems barren because it is the midst of winter, and the the leaves are gone from the trees. This same landscape, seen in summer on a warm, lazy afternoon, would seem full of life and color.
Even in the midst of winter, however, even in the midst of what we call barrenness, this is light – moonlight – and color – deep blue that dapples in reflective color upon the snow. In the background there is the slightest hint of pink, perhaps from the very last vestige of the sunset, its colors dominated by the blue of the forest.
Midnight Coppei is a forest landscape in Eastern Washington State, a grove of trees set in the midst of the country, a hidden enclave surrounded by the fields and meadows of agriculture. Coppei (pronounced COP – ee – aye) is a river of the area, one that swells full in the spring and can practically disappear in the middle of summer.
Ghostly, haunting, mysterious – the forest of Midnight Coppei invites the viewer into a landscape of silence and quiet. Snow on the ground muffles the sound of any footsteps, and indeed, without a path to walk through, the hiker will quickly find his or her feet wet, not the best situation on a cold evening in the country.
There are many places like Midnight Coppei out in the country, but because they are hidden throughout the hills and fields, one finds them by looking – getting out of the car and walking into the landscape. Sometimes, it is only a matter of paces from the side of the road, other times, it is a matter of being willing to walk for awhile – but the effort is worth it, because the silence, the peace, the quiet, the tranquility – these are elements one finds far from the crowds.
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June 7th, 2017
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