If I had a large property, I would plant a grove of California black oaks (Quercus kelloggii). You find these magnificent trees, some up to 80 ft. tall, in many places in Northern California but they often grow side by side with conifers, which in my opinion takes away from their beauty.
My favorite “pure” stand of black oaks is in Mount Shasta along the road to Castle Lake (be sure to check out this photo to see how spectacular this landscape is). I’ve photographed this stand for many years, in various seasons, and the mood differs greatly depending on the prevailing color.
Green dominates in the summer…
…while in the fall it’s yellow.
But these trees are at their most ethereal in the late fall and winter when there is the fog. I was fortunate enough to be in the right spot at the right time on Thanksgiving morning. The photos below capture the mood of the place—majestic, mystical, eery.
Within 15 minutes, the sun started to chase away the fog. First the light turned almost pure white—a blinding glare—then the fog was gone and the forest looked a lot more ordinary.