I am a richer person for having experienced Ponderosa pine, if the measure of wealth is the accumulation of delight.
Perhaps Pinus ponderosa is too commonplace to warrant such praise, but for all the tens of thousands of trees of it that I have seen, I’ve yet to regard it with the contempt of familiarity. Instead, I find some interest in each one that I can afford some attention to, which makes me a distracted driver on highways surrounded by it (I shouldn’t be allowed to drive in the region of Spokane, Washington…).
Why the effusive praise? I love the warm, cinnamon plates of bark interrupted by the black vertical fissures, which I appreciate both from a distance and right up close (I’ll feature a close-up photograph of the bark someday soon). I like to explore the stands of the trees; they are generously-spaced and airy, allowing sunlight to reach the forest floor. But most of all, I delight in walking up to a tree that is baking in the sun, sticking my nose right against the heated bark no matter who my company might be, and inhaling deeply the rich scent of vanilla with a hint of butterscotch. To me, this is priceless.