Vanilla in the Sierras

Lakeside cabins in Incline Village NV

At first glance, this image may look like it's about picturesque lakeside cabins, but it's really about something else: the Jeffrey pine. The Jeffrey is nearly identical to the Ponderosa (most people think they're the same tree), except for one super charming characteristic—the trunk of the Jeffrey smells like pineapple and vanilla. This odor is so distinctive—and pervasive—throughout the eastern Sierra that once you recognize the characteristic scent, you'll find yourself constantly detecting it in the air all throughout the range.   

Which brings us back to this image. Each evening at twilight, kids run across this lawn to expel their last bits of energy, while their tired parents sit in Adirondack chairs and watch bats flutter amongst the tops of the pine trees. Those in the know recognize a familiar scent of cream soda, vanilla, and pineapple in the air, and they close their eyes after another successful day of vacationing, ready to do it all again tomorrow.

Coming up on Thursday: Playing in the golden light before sunset.