MEEKER | Walking at the base of trees that rise hundreds of feet higher than you provides prospective about being a human being. These trees are just magnificent. You see one big one and then another big one and yet a taller one.
When you look up, you can’t see the tops because they are WAY up there. It takes a family holding arms to circle the base of most of these historic growths.
Walking through them is like visiting a chapel. It is quiet since any wind is way higher. Lots of ferns and smaller trees grow lower in a thickness that prevents most four-legged creatures from bounding through.
Noise is absent and even human visitors, for once, seem to whisper and respect nature. We quietly and respectfully walk at the foot of the giants and just admire them.
The sequoia redwoods are very rare and only grow in limited areas, primarily northern California. In early days, many people wanted to harvest them so sadly, many were cut.
Along came protectors who saved the huge trees, grove by grove, often fighting the timber industry to protect them. Thankfully, environmentally conscious folks worked hard so the rest of us can still visit.
Yes, there are a few commercial sites where you can actually drive your car through a tree. It seems a bit disrespectful to have carved out a square in the base of a tree just so people can claim they drove through. Still, there are few of these locations and most trees are protected in state or national parks.
These monsters can live many years, into their 100’s. But, I was told by a local that some fall every year. Just because they’re old doesn’t mean they will survive forever. I can’t imagine the sound of the crash when their lives end.
Actually, many of the fallen trees become ”nursing logs” who provide a home to new growth – moss, ferns, branches, and flowers. Nature doesn’t just say goodbye; it continues growth in new ways.
As a human visitor, I was quite humbled by the endurance, beauty, and re-generation of these gorgeous trees. Thank you for sharing your glory with me, I wanted to say. I may never see you again but you filled my heart with joy.
By KAYE SULLIVAN – Special to the Herald Times