Lila followed the tracks up a rise, then down into the sort of narrow dip that country fellows like Willy Burke called a brake or a holler, then up another hill. Here the trees were thicker — scrub pines fighting for space and sunlight. The webby stuff hung from some of the branches. She took a few more pictures with her phone and pushed on toward the power pylons and the bright sunlight ahead. She ducked under a low-hanging branch, stepped into the clearing, and just stared. For a moment all her tiredness was swept away by amazement.
Lila stood frozen at the edge of the clearing, her neck craned, staring upward. Flocks of moths fluttered around her, brown in the shade, seeming to turn an iridescent gold in the late afternoon sunshine.
She had read somewhere that the tallest tree on earth — a redwood — was just under four hundred feet high. The tree in the center of the clearing looked taller than that, and it was no redwood. It was like no tree she’d ever seen.