Continuing my series from San Francisco, this week I take you to an amazing place..
The Big Basin Redwoods
Brief history and overview
One of California’s oldest state parks, The Redwoods Park is home to ancient coast redwoods that are among the tallest and oldest trees on earth.
Covering more than18000 acres and ranging from sea level to heights of more than 2000 ft elevation, this place is truly awe -inspiring!!! Some of the trees are more than 300 ft tall and 50 ft in circumference and are estimated to be 1000 to 2500 years old.
The coast redwoods ( Sequoia Sempervirens ) are native to the US and are found only along the Pacific coast from Oregon to California….No wonder the Redwood is California’s state tree! Sempervirens means “ever living”
There is evidence that this place was inhabited much before the Spanish explored the area in 1700s. The European explorations followed by the gold rush resulted in wide spread logging and deforestation. A group called the Sempervirens club was formed to halt this destruction and finally in 1901, a state park was created
Apart from redwood, this place is home to Douglas-fir, Red alder ,oak and myrtle apart from lot of native shrubs. Foxes, coyotes, bob cats and a variety of birds inhabit this park.
There are plenty of facilities for recreational activities like hiking and camping .
Peculiarities of REDWOOD TREES
Bark: It can be upto a foot thick and protects the growing part of the tree
Roots: Are remarkably shallow for such tall trees but they grow sideways and fuse with neighboring roots forming a network which gives more stability
Leaves:Can catch water from fog and hence helps tide over drought
Dormant Buds: Continue to grow after a part of the trunk or branch falls off
Red Pigment: Tanin, the red pigment is a potent insect repellent
This explains the relative strength, resilience and longevity of these trees…no wonder they are “everliving”
Located at Santa Cruz county, we drove down to Big Basin Redwoods State park. A huge tunnel tree at the entrance welcomed us to the park.
Let me take you through the park with my pictures so that you can see these trees yourself…better than any explanation I give…take a look….
The huge tunnel tree at the entrance…a giant by any standards!
One of the many walking trails in the park
A fallen redwood tree
Sunlight trying to filter in through the canopy
Mother of the Forest Tree( zoom to see details)
This is one of the oldest and tallest trees in the Big Basin
The Campfire area with seats made of fallen redwoods
The Campfire area looks very attractive…with seats carved out of fallen redwood trees.a covered stage and a huge fire ring.
Measuring tree height….a display board explains
I visited this park in 2019….however, after that there was a major fire here .
(CZU fire) Forest fire in 2020
Unfortunately this park is now closed to visitors temporarily. A fire swept through the visitor centre of this park in August 2020 destroying most of the visitor centre, some parts of the camp ground and a few redwoods. Majority of the ancient trees however survived this fire . Hopefully the park should reopen soon after the renovation activities.
Let us hope, that happens fast….
There is another amazing sight in this park,….a fallen tree…its roots displayed like a sculpture…take a look
Standing against a natural sculpture…the roots of a fallen redwood tree….see the beauty even in its fall…….
When I saw the beauty even in the roots of a fallen tree, I thought….
These trees would say:
Here I stand strong and tall
Withstanding it all
Giving hope to one and
Even after we fall….
See you all next week in yet another amazing place…Yosemite National park…till then goodbye
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