“If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction,” Fabian says in Twelfth Night, and when it comes to pine trees, I’m inclined to agree. Now, my photography skills are still on noob setting, and I haven’t bought a proper lens yet, but the colours you see are true. In fact, they’re even a bit drab compared to the unbelievable copper glow of the pine tree trunks, painted by the light of the setting sun.
It’s one of nature’s miracles. All day, the forest looks grey and dry, and then bam! The sun goes down, and the secret is laid bare: those trunks are red – red to make your heart shatter into a million pieces.
The final rays of sun tangle in the dead branches like Zeus descending to earth in a shower of gold. The coppery shafts filter through the branches and hit the trunks like dashes of paint.
By yonder blessed sun I vow, that tips with copper all those pine tree tops…
Blink once and you’ll miss it. It’s a spectacle that lasts a mere hour, just before darkness falls. It’s a light show that plays out fifteen metres above ground, way above the everyday goings-on of us mere mortals. If you don’t make a point of looking up, you won’t see it.
To catch the fiery dust that’s showered on the world just before bedtime, you have to raise your eyes to the sky.