Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sequoias of California

Sequoias are the largest living beings, and some of the tallest trees as well. They disappeared after the ice age from everywhere except the Sierra range in California. Some sequoias still alive today are thought to be between 3 000 and 4 000 years old.

Mariposa Grove, one of the first sequoia groves visited by non-Native Americans in 1850s, is situated in the south-western part of the Yosemite National Park. This is us under the Fallen Monarch, that has supposedly capsized over 300 years ago. The remains of fallen trees can linger, if undisturbed, for unknown periods of time. Note the not that profound root system of the 1000 ton tree. This grove was one of the investigators to the creation of the National Park system in the USA.

It is a delight to wonder among these lost dinosaurs of the mainland. This is how the place looks like today - and probably looked like in 1850, when the cabin was initially built by Galen Clark:

To get to Mariposa Grove, we had to hitch hike. Hitch hiking is a very interesting activity, at least around Yosemite. Each time we tried, we always got picked up by either climbers or other strangers in the land, such as Polish, Turkish, and finally Swiss girls. Are Americans becoming less friendly in these terrorism and fear-filled years? If so it is a shame!

Last shot, an echo to Rowell's picture of a Jeffrey Pine on Taft Point that i only saw afterwards, is of this Jeffrey Pine we saw on the descent from Half Dome. Not as big as the sequoias, but certainly as beautiful!

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