15th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World

When I traveled to Alaska this summer on a tuition-free expedition for teenage girls, the most interesting fact I learned about the environment was how an earthquake in the 1960s had leached seawater into the local trees' water sources. These trees eventually died from the salty water at their roots and uprooted themselves, eventually becoming bleached by the intense sun. This is a portrait of the magical environment there -- cloud-strewn mountains and a poignantly-shaped dead tree that lent me their muse.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 08.2017
Date Uploaded: 08.2017
Photo Location: Alaska, United States of America
Copyright: © Michelle Chen