Sequoia sempervirens

I wrote, in my last post, that we were fortunate to visit some of California’s famous Redwoods back in 2010. Before this farm blog returns to it’s usual fare of images and discourse I’ve got one more photo, dredged from within the California archive, that I’d like to share. Visiting the Redwoods National Park was a dream realized for both of us. Our visit began at the Kuchel Visitor’s Center where we picked up detailed maps and a permit to enter the Tall Trees Grove. From there it was off to Orick and the Redwood Creek Trail. When we finally got out of the car and onto the trail we had a wonderful hike among a number of the world’s tallest inhabitants. Those of you who are familiar with the Lord of the Rings trilogy will know the Ents of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Walking among the Sequoias made us feel as if we were among sentient organisms, very much like we imagine the Ents to have been when they walked (yes … walked) the First Age of the Earth. To be with these trees is to feel as if you’re being watched and assessed. It’s very quiet in the old growth wood where these individuals have taken refuge. If you stop, close your eyes, and listen carefully you might imagine that they are talking to one another in low, barely audible tones. These utterances might be akin to songs of the earth’s most massive animals, the whales. A tree, with the given name of Hyperion (other named park behemoths include Helios, Icarus, and Poseidon) stands nearly 380 feet tall with a diameter of more than 25 feet and with an estimated weight of nearly one million pounds. It was very difficult, as a photographer, to capture an image which would convey the sheer magnitude of these giants. The woods within which the trees are found are crowded, so standing back for perspective is not an option. Placing a meter stick beside the thing for scale is laughable. The image below represents my best attempt; keep in mind that the branches you see begin perhaps one-third up the trunk, so fully two-thirds of the height of these individuals is beyond this field of view.

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