I’m on a sort of sabbatical. I’m wrapping up a month-long school term break and some time away from work to untwist my brain and get my shoulders off my earlobes.
On the way to meet a friend in the Mendocino, CA area I stopped and spent time amongst giants in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
It’s been a long time since I’ve visited these noble trees in the far north of CA. I read that the park’s 10,000+ acres contain 7% of the worlds old-growth redwoods. The park is managed by the National Park Service and California State Parks and is one of four that comprise Redwoods National and State Parks. This park contains the Smith River, the last “major” undammed river in CA. One of the groves includes the world’s largest (not tallest) coast redwood, which measures 20 feet (6.1 m) in diameter and 340 feet (100 m) tall. Wow!
See how these below are in a ring formation? They likely grew up around a felled tree.
Moss and lichen drape most everything in this ancient forest. 100+ inches of rain annually ensure a temperate, drippy climate. This feels like the forests back home on the Olympic Peninsula.
Wood sorrel-these lovely ground carpeting flowers will have pale lavender flowers. When hit with direct sun, the flower and leaves roll inward and point away from the sun. How I’d love to see that adaptation in action.
Here’s an example of a classic nurse log. The young tree took root on a fallen tree where germination has a higher chance of success. The log nurtures its growth. In time, the log will decay away and the tree will form buttresses over where the log was.
Positively primeval looking ferns. They are ancient plants.
The thick bark of the redwood protects it from fire damage. Many have fire scars.
It was rejuvenating to inhale the cool, foggy air and tune into the birdsong.