Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Logging/Montgomery Woods

I took a trip up to Montgomery Woods today to take a look around. I went to a spot away from the main grove, to a place where I usually go to look for mushrooms. Once again, I was amazed at what I saw. For the first time, I noticed the extent and the consequences of logging in the area. It was fascinating. The trail begins by walking past several old growth redwoods. After a quarter mile or so, the forest thins out. Immediately, the woods take on a different character. Every old growth redwood disappears from this point on, the only thing remaining are stumps and thin redwoods reclaiming the area. Whoever logged this spot took out every single old growth tree, even the ones high on the hillside. It was remarkable. Like crossing items off a checklist, no tree was spared. 

(regenerated wedge, above)
 I walked as far as I could until I no longer saw any redwoods and turned around and retraced my steps. When I reached the edge of the clear cut, I found the first survivor. There were old cables littering the ground, planks of wood laying about, and the first survivor had a wedge cut into it that had regenerated.  Perhaps this tree's life was spared when the area was purchased by concerned citizens. The loggers packed up and left, without finishing the toppling of this last tree.
 I took a picture with the "First Survivor" (above) and continued exploring the grove. Each tree is wonderfully unique. Eventually I found a gnarled giant (below) and took several pictures, including an attempted panorama.

 It's interesting, as huge as these trees are, they also seem to play a hide and seek game. They can be very hard to see sometimes when walking through the forest. It's possible to walk right past a giant without even noticing it. The gnarled giant was somewhat hidden, and I didn't see it until I was really close. The black trumpet mushrooms are beginning to grow now.

 Before the day ended, I found what appeared to be an area that was being observed or studied. There were ribbons tied to trees, and metal tags hammered into others. One of the tags had 2001 written on it, the others had various numbers. There also was an enormous old growth redwood that was soaring into the sky, higher than all the others it seemed. Anyhow, it was another great day. I think I may really start to geek out and bring measuring tape to measure the diameters of the bases for fun.

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