Hello Friends and Family,

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Part 2

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As I walked along the trail, I remembered to look up — to the amazing sight of the tops of these humongous Coastal Redwood trees. Wow!

The giants of the forest also have an unusual trait of forming burl — the knobby growth most often seen at the base of a mature Coastal Redwood. The burl is actually a species survival mechanism, filled with unsprouted bud material. If the tree falls or is destroyed by fire, the burl may sprout a new clone — thus a baby redwood is now ready to begin its job replacing the parent who died.

Here is another stand of trees that may have started as a fairy ring but have now matured as a cluster of robust redwoods.

This may look like more redwood burl to a Forester but to me it looks like the foot of a Argentinosaurus, the largest dinosaur to ever walk on this Earth.

And here is another beautiful part of the canopy of this Coastal Redwood grove.

Next we see another moss-covered redwood tree — this one with even more moss than the first we encountered last week.

Wow, a plant that is not a redwood but is a western azalea AKA California azalea (Rhododendron occidentale). Its flowers appear to be past their prime but delightful to discover in the underbrush.

This redwood tree is distinguished with a name — "Father of the Forest" — due to its age and size. The diameter at breast height is 16 feet 10 inches and the circumference at ground level is 66 feet 9 inches.

Just as impressive as the photo of the base of the "Father of the Forest" is one of it reaching up into the mountain sky. This guy is big, some 250 feet tall, and it took many years to obtain this size — he is thought to be over 2000 years old.

And if you have a "Father of the Forest", you must have a "Mother of the Forest" and here she is. At breast height she measures 15 feet 3 inches in diameter and 70 feet in circumference at her base. At one time, she stood 329 feet tall but lost a little height, now measuring 293 feet tall.

Just like the "Father", the "Mother" stands tall and proud looking over her progeny. Too bad about the burn scar on her side but it shows the resilience of this species.

As a fitting ending to our brief tour of the Big Basin Redwoods State Park, here is a baby redwood tree. Let's hope that in 200 years she has survived climate change and stands tall as her parents.

A footnote for my HP friends. I am sure most of you remember Little Basin Recreational Area that was owned by Hewlett-Packard and used for picnics and camping. During Carly's reign, it was sold, then later acquired by the state of California and added to Big Basin. It is one of the camping areas available to the public (with a reservation, of course).

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com