A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

10 Things I Learned in the Redwoods

Yes, we are back home.

1.  The State is closing only one of the seven State Redwood Parks and that one, Standish-Hickey is really designated as a "recreational area" rather than a park so we can grant them that one.  It is a small little area on Hwy 101, so small that I unknowingly blew right on by the closed entrance which would have made a good photo for this post. So I present you with this plaque instead which I rather liked.

2.  Photographing redwood trees is futile.  There is no way a camera can capture and convey the immense size and beauty of these giants.  They really need to be seen in person to fully appreciate their grandeur.  I pretty well gave up until I took a photo with the road, The Avenue of the Giants, which I felt did the trees some justice.  

3.  If you do not care for being in the sun, the redwoods is the place to go.

4.  Camping beneath these trees seriously disrupts satellite radio reception.

5.  Kids make for good size references.  This is an slightly above average diameter for the coastal redwood.

6.  Birds and other wildlife are not fond of redwood forests so you must look where you walk for critters to photograph.  Good luck with the poor lighting and ultra slow shutter speed needed.

7.  Flowers too do not do well within the redwoods.  It might have something to do with the sun...?  So step outside the redwood grove into the sunlight to find your flowers.

8.  The redwoods is not a place you want to be when the Eel River floods.  Notice the striped board at the top of the pole - that is the high water mark when in December 1964 with a heavy snow pack in the mountains coupled with a 32" (81.2 cm) rainfall in three days caused the river to flood, devastating the little town of Weott.  It is said that the out pour of water at the river's mouth in the Pacific surpassed the average flow rate of the Mississippi and Columbia Rivers combined.

9.  Thank goodness for women in large groups.

10.  There are 135 known redwoods that tower more than 350 feet (106.6 meters) with the tallest at 378 feet (115.2 meters).  The giant sequoias grow larger in diameter with more bulk but not as tall as their cousin the coastal redwood.  They can live to be more than 2000 years old but average around 500 to 700 years.  The trees have no known killing diseases and insects do them no harm.  Fire is their biggest enemy usually doing in the young trees that have yet grown the thick protective bark.  The fact they have a shallow root system, wind is their next biggest problem and topples many mature trees.  

More photos to come, just a few.. not as many as there was for Bodie Ghost Town.


Sandy's witterings said...

Very interesting - that high water mark is a bit worrying and it's very convenient to find a child on a tree trunk just when you want one.
There is a small grove of redwoods in the botanics in Edinburgh, though whether the giant variety or not, I don't know. They will of course only be babies and can't be much more than 150 years old. Perhaps in 500 years time they will be up there at the 350 feet mark, after all, with no other natural enemies, what chance do they have of catching fire in Scotland.

Carole M. said...

I might imagine how majestic it would be to stand under those beautiful trees. Your first image is a wonderful perspective on the roadside; great travel means!

Linda said...

John, you always delight me with your photos and your travels! You manage to capture the very essence of the places you visit - and take us right along with you! I have never made it to see these trees - what a visit that would be! It is really hard to imagine the size - that photo with the child really puts it in perspective!

biebkriebels said...

Those giant trees are so beautiful, you captured them well.

Sharon M said...

I hope to see these in person someday, but until then I will enjoy your photos. Great shots! I'm glad all the parks aren't closing.

TexWisGirl said...

i think your photos depicted these beauties just fine! i'd love to see them in person, however. will enjoy seeing more thru you.

John W. Wall said...

Looks great! Wish I was there.

Nellies said...

Impressive trees indeed John. Great to see your photos. Since it is so hot here and there is hardly any escape I think I should head over to the Redwoods! :-)

Jeannelle said...

Thank you for the tour of the Redwoods. Am looking forward to seeing more photos.

Scott Law said...

Again your photos make me really want to get to the Redwoods. I have just got to set a date and get there. It's not like I live half way around the world. According to Google Earth it's about a 920 mile drive. Is it worth it?

Randy said...

You should have put Sinbad on the stump. Wonderful shots too.