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Breathe Redwood

Redwood Trees Big Basin California by Rachel Medanic

While camping amid the giants of Big Basin last month, I wondered if trees take offense to us burning the wood of other trees on the forest floor beside them to cook our dinners and heat our morning coffee? I realize I'm anthropomorphisizing since burning wood emits CO2 which trees use to live- even if it's created by other dead trees burning. But my question is about awareness and conscience.

In addition, plants have an awesome way of recycling nutrients from their fallen parts (leaves) to sustain themselves so it's probably not a relevant observation.

The trees above seem to be dancing ladies with trunks lifting their skirts. There are also some old faces there if you look carefully. Yes, those are camping chairs to the right- to give you a sense of how big the trees are.

We were so blessed to have all of our summer destinations this year be located under these giant oxygen factories. Here is a sampling from our travels:

Redwood roots, dancing humans Big Basin California by Rachel Medanic

Even when a Redwood falls, there are many shapes that appear in the roots of a living being that is so massive. While they are huge, redwood roots don't really go deeper than about 12 feet down. In these roots, I see a bunch of people doing dubke. Below is a closeup of the human form farthest from the right:

The trees house a variety of ecosystems in their branches tens or hundreds of feet above the ground. The spiderwebs here are magical. One thing I love about photographing redwoods most is that you have to aim your camera and your neck straight up.

At the roots:

Up in the Russian River area, the redwoods in the town of Cazadero have exclusive access (and have for decades) to thriving human activities, most namely the performing arts and music camp groups that use the space (curiously owned by the City of Berkeley thanks to Mr. Lutt, the late music educator).

Cazadero is one of 104 sites that was part of the former 19th century Bohemian Grove, a gathering place for some of the world's most rich and powerful. Founded in 1872 by journalists, artists and musicians, the Bohemian Club (annual visitors to the Grove) fell into the hands of the rich and powerful, talented--or not. That's a distracting story perhaps for another post. It reminds me of how  people used to describe Burning Man years ago.

Check out this burl:
Deerhead burl, Camp Cazadero Redwood Tree, California by Rachel Medanic
And so sweet the way their seedlings pop up all around them like children at a grandparent's knee:
Redwood seedling, Camp Cazadero, California by Rachel Medanic

Further south, Samuel P. Taylor Park features less massive trees around but amazing heights to camp in:
Sunlight in redwoods, Samuel P. Taylor State Park, California by Rachel Medanic
In the Piercy area, we also got to spend some time under the Grandfather Tree. It's 55 feet around and 24 feet in diameter (over 250 feet tall). A side of it is like a wall of wood. Again, aiming straight up:
The Grandfather Tree, Piercy, California, Humboldt County by Rachel Medanic

In this video, David Milarch speaks at Tedx in San Jose to reflect on what we've done by destroying 98% of the old growth Redwood forests. It's worth a listen if nothing else to learn to question and study first before destroying (when it comes to Nature).

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