Mae's Real Stories

Memories for Miriam, Alice, Theo, Delia, Tessa and anyone else who would like to be here

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Giant Sequoias

At Big Basin Redwood state park in California, we took a walk to see the giant sequoia trees, also called coastal redwoods. This is one of the very good places to see redwoods as they have been growing for several thousand years. The first two photos show the largest tree in the park, "The Father of the Forest." One picture shows the base of the tree and the other shows the top of the tree. The "Mother of the Forest" is taller, but not as big in circumference or as old.
Many of the old trees have become hollowed out by fire and by decay. Because they are so enormous, you can walk into the hollow part, which in some cases is as big as a small room.

The bark of the trees can grow in a variety of patterns. Sometimes the bark shows the black soot from fires that burned long ago. A fire burned in Big Basin just over 100 years ago, yet many trees are still blackened. After a fire, the trees grow in new ways from the base of old trees, and redwood seeds begin to sprout. The forest comes back to life.

The redwood forest is very peaceful. In the morning, the clouds were low and mist and rain were around us as we drove down the winding road into the park. During and after our walk, we saw much more sunshine.

When we were young, Elaine, Arny, our parents, and I took a trip to California. We saw the redwoods that grow in the mountains in Yosemite National Park. We drove over a very steep, narrow, and winding road called the Tioga Road, which goes from Yosemite to Nevada. The road into Big Basin was a little like that, but not as long.

At that time, one hollow tree in Yosemite was so big that you could drive your car through the hollow part of the trunk, and we did that. Driving or walking too close to the trees turns out to be bad for them, so now you can't drive through the tree any more, and you can't walk into very many of them. I think the tree that many people drove through became so weak that it fell down.

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