This past week we visited Calaveras Big Trees State Park. It is one of several groves of the Giant Sequoia trees in California. It is a wonderful place to saunter through a forest which includes about 20 of these precious giants as well as large pines and cedars.
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Today I am featuring some special trees: The The Great Basin Brisltecone Pine (Pinus longevea), the Coastal Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and the Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum). Most of the images are from California but one comes from Great Basin National Park in Nevada.
There are only 8 groves of the Giant Sequoia in the world. They are all located in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. These wonders grow more than 300 feet tall with diameters that exceed 50 feet. The branches on these trees are often bigger than the trunks of trees I see every day.
The Coastal Redwood is found only along the coasts of Northern California with just a slight incursion into Oregon. These trees are the tallest in the world, reaching heights in excess of 375 feet and diameters in excess of 30 feet. Many of these trees are over 600 years old with the oldest known tree 2,200 years old.
The Bristlecone pines are small, gnarled, ancient trees some of which have lived more than 5,000 years. They grow at high altitudes and like poor soil conditions. They are tough old buggers.
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Five years ago, I saw the giant sequoia for the first time. Like most people, I was in awe of these giant trees. Their imposing size and their presence in the forest really impressed me. My images Among the Elders and Sequoia Giganteum attempt to capture the scale of these trees. However, I also found that the furrows and ridges of their bark create a sculptural beauty that is striking. Over the ensuing years, I’ve taken images of a few trees whose patterns really struck me. Here is a sample of what I found.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
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