The Redwoods… A Photographic Journey through America’s National Parks

A giant of the forest.

A giant of the forest: “an ambassador from another time.”

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                         John Steinbeck

Like John Steinbeck, I am in awe of the Redwoods. These giants of the forest can live for two thousand years and grow to over 300 feet tall. The so-called Big Tree in Redwood National Park, for example, is 304 feet tall, has a circumference of 68 feet and an estimated age of 1500 years.

Our home in Southern Oregon is a short three-hour drive from the coastal redwoods of Northern California so Peggy and I have visited them three times in three years. My first visit to the Redwoods was as a child and it is still a clear memory. Our last two visits we had our grandkids with us. My hope is that their memory of the visit will be like mine– and pull them back, time and again.

Peggy provides a perspective on the actual size of a giant redwood.

Peggy provides a perspective on the actual size of a giant redwood.

California's rugged North Coast. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Redwoods National Park is located along California’s rugged North Coast. Stormy seas had left behind piles of driftwood.

Redwood tree root on Northern California coast. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Among the driftwood was this large redwood tree root.

Driftwood at Redwood National Park. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Most of the driftwood was small but also quite attractive. It was easy to imagine the various shapes as creatures…

Driftwood shapes at Redwood National Park. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

I thought of this piece as a wood duck.

Downed tree root in Redwood National Park.

Back to the forest, my friend Ken Lake and I stand next to another massive root. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Moss coverend tree at Redwood National Park. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

The moss growing on this tree is a reminder that Redwood National Park receives 60-80 inches of rain per year, thus making it a rainforest.

Large clover leaf in Redwood National Park. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

The size of clover is another reminder that things grow big in Redwood National Park– as my favorite model demonstrates below…

Peggy Mekemson wears a Redwood National Park clover in her hair. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Foxglove growing at Redwoods National Park.

Beautiful Foxglove is also found growing among the redwoods. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Fern growing in Redwoods National Park. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Another perspective on the rainforest look of Redwoods National Park.

Two final views of the magnificent redwoods.

Giant redwood tree at Redwoods National Park. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Tops of redwoods at Redwoods National Park. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

 

NEXT BLOG: Wrap up of park series (for the present) with photos from several different parks.

16 comments on “The Redwoods… A Photographic Journey through America’s National Parks

  1. No doubt your grand kids will remember and want to return again.. The sheer height of these trees is dizzying.. Love all that driftwood.. One of my most prized possessions is a piece of driftwood given to me by my Dad!

  2. Awesome! And I mean that in the true sense of the word, not the over-used term that bounces around today. Even looking at pictures or film, it’s hard to imagine.
    I didn’t know about the giant clover… who would have thought…

  3. When I think of the things I loved about California, the redwoods and the “lost coast” constantly fight each other for the #1 and #2 positions. What I remember most about the redwoods is the combination of size and silence. And sometimes, it seemed even the air was green – probably all that dissolved chlorophyll. 😉

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