Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jackson Demonstration Forest

 I took a short hike after work up an old logging road in Jackson Demonstration Forest. What can I say? A logged redwood forest looks and feels completely trashed. I wish every American, every human could see and feel the difference between an old growth redwood forest and a logged one. The difference is stark. At the same time, part of me feels grateful to experience both. A logged redwood forest gets me thinking immediately. I can't help but feel bad for our species. I can't help but think we still have a long way to go. Like a high school marching band, complete with botched performances and notes painful to the ear, walking through this section of forest just plain feels wrong. The performance is poor. It's a failing grade. Do we have the potential to improve? The forest looked like a war zone today. We can and hopefully will do better. It is my hope that we are experiencing the days like someone walking through their city post war. Hopefully, we are at a time where we can once again start to rebuild. It shouldn't be like this. Ever since I was a kid, I've felt the golden rule should also apply to plants and animals. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Last Englishman

Flyboxer, Answerman, Indie, and Fozzie at Muir Hut: PCT 2010

The Last Englishman, a book written by Fozzie, one of the many hiker's I met on the PCT in 2010, is available for purchase. The book is excellent, and accurately describes the trials, tribulations, highs, and lows of thru-hiking the PCT. There are some hilarious stories in here. Pick it up!

Spring in the Redwoods

 Spring seems to arriving around these parts already. The Redwoods are starting to be welcomed by new visitors these days. Trilium is beginning to say hello.
 The creeks were running nicely in Montgomery Woods over the weekend, but it still seems like a fairly dry winter overall. Of course there is still time left.
Not sure what these are, but they also were blooming around the Redwoods.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Navarro Titan 2

 I stopped by the Navarro Titan on my way to the coast on Friday morning and got a measurement of the circumference at 41 feet 6 inches. Any tree of the 40 foot mark automatically gets a "Wow."
 The fetid adder's tongue (above) is also blooming now on the redwood forest floors around the area.
Here's a picture of the Navarro River, about 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Exploring Montgomery Woods

 I went on another bushwhack in Montgomery Woods yesterday to get a better feel for the overall area. I had two goals in mind: To find my camera tripod that I had lost three weeks ago, and to perhaps locate a Montgomery Woods albino. There is no information that I am aware of that indicates any albinos growing in this grove.
 Thankfully, I located my tripod right away. It was right where I had hoped it would be. The last few weeks I had been using a modified tripod: A water bottle with a glob of play-doh on top. It actually has worked great. However, I was glad to find my tripod that can actually screw onto my camera, a Christmas gift from my sister a few years ago.
 The bushwhack was pretty exhausting. I decided to head up the mountainside following a small creek or spring. I did manage to locate a pretty cool spot, about half way up the mountain. There was a small fire ring there, and some pretty huge trees near a couple of small waterfalls. I doubt many people go there, glad to know it exists.
 I spent several hours working my way up the mountain. The redwoods were becoming smaller the higher I climbed. Every now and then, I would see a massive giant, but nothing as large as the collection of trees in the main grove down below.
 As I reached the ridge line, I was pretty excited to see what kind of view I would find. To my disappointment, I reached a fence and someones property at the top of the mountain. I decided to head down.
 It was pretty cool making my descent, because the redwoods were growing larger and larger the closer I got to the bottom. By now I was dreadfully thirsty. Couldn't help but notice how the small things in the forest give me a lot of joy right now. Damp dead fall, pine cones, moss, just to name a few.
 Even though I knew what to expect when I reached the valley floor, I was still in awe when I reached the bottom, and the grove completely opens up and enormous trees abound. Absolutely spectacular.
I measured the circumferences of a couple trees I had not noticed before. Some incredible giants living here. I did not find any albinos, but can't help think there might be one here. So now the hunt begins for the "ghost of Montgomery..."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Navarro Titan

While driving home from work last week, I was driving through the redwoods along the Navarro on the 128, (mostly 2nd or 3rd generation trees I'm guessing), and just happened to catch a glimpse of a hunkering giant near Flynn Creek Road. I had to make it to my next appointment on time so I did not have a chance to stop and examine it. Yesterday morning, I had to stop and take a look. Just 20 feet off the road is this hidden old growth titan, the largest tree I have seen in this area. Redwood trees seem to have this indescribable will to live. The tree wasn't that tall, in fact it looked like the top was completely dead, but it still had several live branches shooting out. This is an ancient tree. I don't know why the loggers didn't cut it down.
The place where this tree was growing was perfect redwood habitat. A small creek was flowing nearby. There were many huge stumps nearby. I'm guessing this was once a grove of massive redwoods before the trees fell to the logger's axe. Still, I can't contain my disappointment when I see these stumps remaining in the earth, marking the spot where a titan once stood, now appearing as  mossy tombstones. Next week, I hope to get a measurement of this old giant. I'm guessing it will have a circumference over 40 feet.

Thursday, February 9, 2012