The visit to Dune de Dinat in May 2022 was not planned. It was a hunch, looking for another stop on the return journey from Spain to Germany. Another short stay at the Sea after driving through the dry and hot Spanish inland for a week.
We camped in the middle of a gorgeous pine forest, right at the foot of the shifting dunes. It was obvious that this forest was man made, but so are most woodlands in Europe and compared to many similar forests, this one wasn’t young any more. With the high shifting dunes peaking through the pine trunks the landscape felt special and precious.
Pine forests hold a special place in my heart, because the smell of the needles and cones in summer awakens many happy childhood memories of holidays with my grandparents at the Baltic Sea. I love the smell of pines and Í love their elegant forms, the red coloured bark with its intriguing textures.
Even then, the fragility of the place was noticeable. The landscape was much too dry for spring. The air smelt like midsummer. Many trees had visible damage from previous seasons without sufficient rain. Thus, hearing about the enormous forest fire near the Dune de Dinat these last few days did not surprise me, but it did hit me hard. And it’s just one of numerous woodlands vanishing every year due to fire, drought, pests and overexploitation. Another loss that cannot be replaced.