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:
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.
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.
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.