Friday, June 6, 2014

wild country

We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope. 
--Wallace Stegner (1909-1993) American historian, author and environmentalist

Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains south of Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks contain groves of massive giant sequoia trees estimated to be 1,800 and 3,000 years old. These are some of the largest and oldest living things on the planet. It's bewildering to walk among them and make sense of such an incredible scene.

In terms of photography, I found it difficult to capture and communicate their immense size. It really is something that needs to be seen in person to fully appreciate. Visitors are so completely dwarfed by these gigantic trees! I loved the smell of the sequoia - very different from the pine scented mountains found here in Appalachia, these had a redwood aroma, think of it as a giant, redwood lined sauna. :)

Speaking of redwoods, the Giant Sequoia are different than Redwoods, both found in California. Although related, Sequoia grow inland and are thicker and not as tall; by volume they are the largest trees in the world. Redwoods are coastal, and although immense, are thinner than the Giant Sequoias; they are the tallest trees in the world.

I'll continue posting more of my journey through California tomorrow -- and then we'll return to Appalachia!

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