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16th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
A fallen sequoia tree in the Giant Forest.

We had hiked in the Giant Forest, and though we only hiked a few miles out, there was one sequoia tree that had fallen in the middle of a clearing. The seemingly untouched wilderness withdrew me from my industrial world. I wondered to myself, what did the world look like before humans rooted themselves in the gradual destruction? Is this a beauty that we will never know? I was fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of Earth unscathed; immersed in unruly wildflowers, lush grasses, and buzzing life, unlike anything I've never known. I was a quiet observer, everything assumed in harmony. As my mind quieted, I felt linked to every sensation of Earth. My role as an observer faded, and I was reminded of our relation to nature. We aren't observers or guests of Earth, but it's kin. We are the able protector, with our sharp minds as instruments. Except we've traded in our sharp tools for sharp weapons.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 07.2018
Date Uploaded: 09.2018
Photo Location: Visalia, California, United States of America
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Copyright: © Anastasiya Sukhenko