Leaving the Mainland – Sequoias

Seeing the Sequoias was in the plan since the day we decided to move to Hawai’i. It nearly didn’t happen because of delays in closing on our Monument house. We went back and forth trying to juggle the closing date, the required travel time from Monument to San Diego, the schedule of the ship that would sail our car across the ocean, airline schedules, condo rentals, and on and on and on . . . 

Those who read about the first leg of the journey from Monument to San Diego already know this map:

Monument to San Diego

It does show that we saw us some Sequoias. Those who regularly read my blog (and I thank you all) even saw the phone photos from our visit to the Sequoias National Monument (HERE). These here be the proper camera photos. I mean, no offense to my very useful and moderately accomplished phone camera, but this here be my Nikon photos. And, they can be seen in all their glory at the SmugMug Gallery HERE.



For them not keen on large photos, you can still click the photos for a slightly larger version of these photos. And for them too lazy to click any of these, well, I hope you too will gain some enjoyment from these photos. 

These suckers are tall. Sequoias, that is. It makes photographing them AND conveying a sense of scale quite the daunting task. The above photos show the root system of one, but without something giving it scale, one is left to imagine how big those roots are. Patience; all in due time. 

I’ve done a number of vertical panoramas but because I was very close and the trees are very tall, the results can be a bit . . . wanting. 

20160613_DSC6010_1-Processed-2-2_DIGI 20160613_DSC6013_1-Processed-2-2_DIGI

This next (single) shot is from the base looking up, and very close to the trunk of the tree. 


I should mention that while we were in the Sequoia National Monument, we did not  drive into the National Park proper which was a few hours north of this. Because of our timetable, we figured we were on a shortened schedule and opted to just drive near some of the groves. The tree above is actually in a residential area so it felt a bit weird photographing it. 

Here are the roots again.


The road we drove offered many spectacular canyon views but few places to stop and snap photos. Besides, I have those photos a-plenty from my time in Colorado. Be aware that the roads are windy and often narrow with blind corners and severe switchbacks. Also, maps are pretty crude and one has to rely on some imagination (and a GPS) to navigate the terrain. 

This next tree was just outside the entrance to Trail of 100 Giants. A trail which we did take and from which most of these photos are from. 


The above is also a panorama shot (five photos), and if one looks really hard on the lower left, just above the watermark, one can see Melisa’s hand on this particular giant. 

Can’t see it? Here’s a single shot . . . 


That was my attempt at giving scale to the photos. Here are a few more from this particular tree. 





It is unclear to me if this is one tree with a damaged base (fire and being split) or multiple trees.  I could make the case for both. From reading the link above, trees do begin life separately and end up joining. Neat. 

The rest of the shots are from the trail proper.



Again, difficult to get a sense of scale. Also, the shooting conditions (bright sun and deep shadows) made shooting decent photos a crapshoot. 

A departure from the norm, I tried getting people into shots. This was done to provide a sense of scale and not because I’m changing my mind about people. 


Two things with that photo . . . one, you can get a sense of how big the trees are . . . but also, take a look at the pine in the foreground. It’s not small, but it’s dwarfed by its big cousin. 


There were many felled trees . . . some, like the above, were older cuttings. More numerous were the recent cuttings . . . 


The words “beetle kill” are instantly recognizable by Coloradans (Coloradonites? Coloridians?) and we were saddened to see so many dead trees dotting the mountainsides. As far as I know, the Sequoias are not affected by the beetles. That would be the bugs, not the band. The Ponderosa Pines (I think that’s what they are – they might be Spruces, but I’ll stick with Ponderosa)   are not small, as I said, but there is no comparison.



One of the problems with doing tall panoramas is that you have to play with the parameters to see what works best. So, this next shot is weird and has some curvature to what should be a straight trunk in the foreground, but the sequoia looks about right.


Trying to “fix” the perspective and ballooning can give skewed results.


Actually, those shots bracket what the tree actually looked like and I could choose either to represent what I saw. 

I mentioned earlier the roots are pretty big. How big, you ask?




This tree fell on September 30, 2011, while the trail was open and people were around. No one was hurt, but I’m betting some underwear needed to be changed immediately after. The link I had about the trail explains the event. 


People again provided scale. Still, even without anyone about, one gets the sense of how massive these things are.



Here are a number of shots with the people climbing on the fallen giant. They are in each shot . . . look for them. 







Here’s another clump of roots. I like both the chaotic pattern and texture of them.



Sadly, more culling due to beetle kill. 


Just a few more photos . . .


Another panorama . . . I’ll throw in two of the photos making up the panorama.



And, one last photo with people establishing scale (don’t get used to me including people).


We saw more, but after a while, they all look alike. From here, we got back onto the California road system.

Let me tell you about California drivers. Worst. Drivers. Ever. Here, let me expand on that. Self-entitled jerks disregarding rules of the road, common courtesy, speed limits, and safety of others. 

. . . I really missed my guns . . . No, I would not have actually shot anyone, but really, the Universe would have immediately improved if I had. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~



Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Musings Stuff, Personal, Photography, Photography Stuff, Travel, Travel Stuff, Writing Stuff and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Leaving the Mainland – Sequoias

  1. Wow magnificent trees and their root structure!! Thanks for putting the people in. It really put it in perspective :)


  2. Have you driven in Spain?

    Anyway, onto the trees. They are ginormous. I liked the first one of M’s hand. It really put it into perspective. The people do provide scale, but I would caution against cluttering up reasonable pix with too many of them. They don’t add value apart from scale.


    • disperser says:

      I’ve driven in Italy, but that was like coming home to a home I never knew (I left when I was too early to drive). Driving in Italy is controlled chaos, but at no time did I feel like my life was in danger.

      Driving in California, I had people passing in a no passing lane (and not just one car, but many at a time, passing on blind curves and hills, tailgate at high speeds, and . . . I could go on, but let me just say they were rear orifices of the highest order. Unwiped orifices, at that. My opinion of California was already low, and this dragged it down a fair amount more.

      As for people, I agree. Other than a few providing direct benefit to me, people are essentially a nuisance one must reluctantly tolerate. I usually go to great pains to exclude people from my photos and there is little danger of that changing.


      • France was good, extremely good. Italy was dubious, and Spain/Portugal are the pits. Australia was ok :D

        What pisses us off in Spain is pulling on to the motorway or whatever you call it, where there is a clear line in the road that they do not have right of way, and they just pull on. Regardless. They have some serious head problems. And arse problems. Clearly.

        Pleased to hear about future absence of people. Not something I expect to see on an esteemed peopleless blog.


      • disperser says:

        Dubious? Italians? Speaking as a person of Italian ancestry, I can tell you we seldom harbor doubts. We know we are Italians, and that says it all.

        I don’t know about esteemed. My readership remains in the high teens, so it can’t be all that esteemed. Peopleless? Yes, that’s a good description.


  3. mybrightlife says:

    I think you captured the magnificence of them well. Must have been a challenge.


    • disperser says:

      Well, I capture the magnificence you see. I can’t say that I captured all the magnificence there was to capture. Still, I’m reasonably pleased with the photos.

      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. absolutely fantastic photography.


  5. I liked the vertical panoramas. Nice work!


  6. AnnMarie says:

    I clicked on the “Trail of 100 Giants” and read about the two trees that fell and the walkway that was being planned. Then I saw it in your shots. It’s pretty close to what I imagined, but my point is that first I read about the walkway and then i saw it . . . a much more enjoyable experience, I think, than it would have been just looking at the falling tree with the walkway next to it. Its history first gave it more significance. Thanks and well done!

    Ditto for all the great shots filled with texture and glorious harmonious colors . . . those lovely greens and browns!


    • disperser says:

      I think it would have been as impressive as all heck watching them fall. I’m guessing the ground shook.

      That said, I’m happy just imagining it. My luck, it would have clipped my big toe and thereafter I’d only have been able to count to 20.


  7. I’ve been fortunate to see these impressive trees in person many times. And your photos of them are impressive, too. GREAT job, Emilio!
    The whole big tree, big root support is a great analogy to our lives/life. We all need a good support system to grow and thrive and survive. :-)
    CA drivers ARE the worst! I always hated driving when I lived there…both in Northern CA and Southern CA! Ugh!
    HUGS!!! :-)


    • disperser says:

      Thanks, and “Crap!”

      . . . my root system must be shallow indeed!

      OR . . . I’m one of them trees that clings to bare rock. Don’t know how they manage, but they do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, those trees amaze me…I admire them…as do the plants that grow up through concrete and pavement…I guess these are a tribute to people who don’t have good support or nurturing, but manage to fight to live and succeed. :-) I admire them! I’ve felt like the weed growing through the concrete at times in my life. Glad to say now I have a small, but wonderful support group that I can count on. :-)

        Liked by 1 person

      • disperser says:

        Good to hear.


  8. mvschulze says:

    I “liked” but honestly did not read. I looked, and liked, but reading will be later. You know what it’s like. Set it aside for a little while until savoring time comes around. M :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      No problem. Enjoying the photos is a perfectly valid option and one which does not have to be explained. The main show are the photos; the writing is just filler.


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