April 28, 2013
Remember the posts are about 3 months behind the actual tour.
We have arrived, elevation about 4,700 feet, Calaveras Big Trees State Park. There is, of course, a Wikipedia page, here, with some interesting reading.
Yep, they are tall, this shot shows the tops, but, NOT the bottoms (at the ground).
The local inhabitants welcome us, this is a Douglas Squirrel, also known as a Chickaree, the Tamiasciurus douglasii. He blends in quite well with his surroundings.
This is "The Big Stump". It is also called the Discovery tree. It was 24 to 25 feet in diameter at the base, and over 280 feet tall. It was 1,244 years old when it was cut down in 1853. It took five men 22 days to do the deed, they had to use augers and wedges, there was no saw that was large enough.
Exposed roots of a felled tree, beautiful in a artistic kinda way. Roots may span up to 100 feet in diameter, although they are rather shallow.
I am not sure which tree this is, many of the larger ones have names and very interesting stories. I failed to record which one this was. But, here you have the obligatory photo of the human visitors posing in front of a Sequoia to show how large it is, and how small we are. Those of you who have been reading Reflections for a while will realize how much I do not like these kinds of photos. Man says they are for the grandkids. Once in a while he convinces (that should read, twists my arm, painfully) me to pose. At least the Sequoias make me look small.
This is not the same tree as above, this is an experiment in photography. Sony Too in normal operating mode/exposures just cannot capture the height of the Sequoia. So, I had this light bulb moment to try capturing the entire tree with the panoramic mode, turning the camera on it's side and starting at the bottom and scanning upwards. Sometimes the results were pretty good. Other times the tree appears to have a huge curvature issue. This particular shot turned out pretty nice, if I do say so myself, but it needs a human tho to show perspective.
Another shot of the roots of a fallen tree. They weather so beautifully.
Man standing beside another fallen Sequoia. They actually cut the hiking trail through this one, another section of the tree was on the other side of the boardwalk.
This young lady is having a grand timing running through "The Father of the Forest". The tree fell well before this grove of Sequoias was discovered about 1852. There are photos of this tree with a brass band standing on top and even a troop of cavalry standing on it.
This is the "Pioneer Cabin Tree". It was carved out during the 1880's to compete with the Wawona Tunnel Tree in Yosemite. It has a wide base, was already burned, sporting a large fire scar. Over time however, this large cut has stopped most of the tree's growth, there is only one branch that is green and showing life.
Here is Man gazing at that same tree, well, part of the tree.
Some more interesting Sequoia tidbits, they can and have lived as long as 3,200 years. One cone can harbor as may as 200 seeds, a large tree may have as many as 1,400,000 seeds. The seeds are about the size of a flake of oatmeal.
The Giant Sequoias, the Sequoiadendron giganteum are the largest trees on earth. It is said the trees in Sequoia National Park are larger than these. The largest Sequoia, General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park is 275 feet tall and has a diameter of 36.5 feet. Wow, after the first 200 feet or so straight up, who is counting?
We had a nice hike, saw some amazing trees, learned about human nature, and Mother Nature nature. There were many more hikes we could have taken, but, time was not on our side. That said, we did get to see and experience Sequoias. It was awesome!