Saturday, May 16, 2009

Calaveras Big Trees--the Trees

The reason for the park is, of course, to protect the trees. So tall are they, that I had to make a composite to get the whole tree in one picture. Although Augustus Dowd didn't truly "discover" the trees, it was he who brought them to the attention of the world in 1853.
Of course some enterprising individuals had to find a way to exploit the discovery
so they cut down the "Discovery Tree", removed the bark and reassembled it for a traveling exhibition. It took five men 22 days to do the deed. At its base it was over 25 feet in diameter, large enough that they built a dance pavilion on top of its stump and a bowling lane on the log.
In death, these fallen giants provide a nursery for new life. Here a young dogwood is growing on a fallen tree.
This tree "The Mother of the Forest" had its bark removed while it was left standing. Killed by the loss of its bark, it later burned.
Another indignity suffered by these mighty trees, a tunnel was cut through this one.
The tree struggles to survive with one limb alive at the very top.
Years of fire suppression has resulted in a build up of fuel. Foresters have come to realize that they can't prevent forest fires but the can make them manageable by burning off underbrush at times of their choosing. We came upon this management fire at the end of the road. We watched as the crew built bonfires of small shrubs and low branches in hopes of preventing a catastrophic fire in the future.


Martha said...

Oh wow! How cool! I'd love to see that in person!

Glennis said...

Wonderful big trees.
Regarding your lovely blue birds and the nesting box; I breed canaries for years, if the parents are continuing to feed the chicks they will raise them. In the aviary if it got too hot, parent birds sat and whirred their wings to cool the chicks if there was not enough shade, they never abandoned chicks because of heat or cold or rain, nature finds a way! You could make sure there is easy food available for the parents to collect for the chicks, that would be your best way to assist.
Enjoy your birdie family!

Ginnymo said...

What an awesome tree. You kind of feel sad for it though, the way they tortured it.. Great post Martha!!

Barb said...

Hi Martha,
Controlled burns scare me - they often get out-of-control! However, I know they're sometimes necessary. Beautiful giant trees!

Diane C. said...

Those trees are amazing in their size and beauty. That is a gorgeous image of the dogwood starting to grow out of the fallen tree.

Vagabonde said...

These redwoods are really big - 250 ft tall and up to 25 feet in diameter, they are impressive. Great photos!