Lance Lewey

Redwood Forest:
Montgomery Woods
State Reserve

You reach Montgomery Woods off one of those wild east-west northern California mountain roads; it's where the road runs low and level along the river, between mountains. The road is called one thing on the Ukiah side; something else on the Mendocino side. Go figure. A local woman set up a surveillance videocam on her back porch last year, trying to catch a thief. She did manage to record the thief, but then, as the tape kept rolling, filmed a mountain lion on her back porch as well. The lion headed off in the same direction as the thief. That's one thief who could have had a bad day.

It's an amazing place. Hike up a hill to the first redwood grove, and it's more than a cathedral. You feel awed, hushed by your insignificance. You're a child again, small in the face of nature's immensity.

The first time I took photos there, using slide film, the results were less than inspiring. The second time I tried to edge around an outcropping while hiking up the stream carrying all my equipment, lost my balance, and, trying to protect my camera, banged my elbow on a rock. It hurt for months.

Eventually, I wised up. The energy is very powerful there. I've taken to bringing tobacco, and making offerings to some of the more magical-looking redwoods as I enter the park, and to some along the way. I say, "I honor the spirits of this place, and the creatures who dwell here." And now the place seems okay with my presence (or at least my photos are coming out and my body has remained unbloodied).

A story: an acquaintance went there, and looking inside one of the redwood trunks she found a joint. She was delighted--a gift from the fairies! She smoked the joint right then and there, and had a wonderful, magical walk through the forest. Now, I suppose that the person who left the joint, like me, left it as an offering. But then, maybe through a strange kind of alchemy, it actually did transmute into a gift from the fairies. Hmm...we all drink from the same stream, don't we?

Meandering stream
Please note: All photos in this site are ©Lance Lewey. Nothing may be downloaded or reproduced in any form without Lance Lewey's written permission. Prints are for sale--please see the ordering page.
Lush hillside
Hanging ferns
Little redwood in rain
Water flowing
Stream in grove
Forest glade
Montgomery Creek
Fork in creek
Redwood trunk
Light stream
The bridge
Gallery landing page
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