Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mailliard Redwoods and Douglas Firs

 After speaking with Michael Taylor a couple of months ago, one of the places he suggested I check out was Mailliard Redwoods State Reserve since it's in Mendocino county. I had never heard of it before, and decided to check it out today. It's located several miles south of Hendy Woods, off Fish Rock Road, a few miles off the 128. Although the redwoods here are smaller, there were some impressive Douglas Firs growing here. The biggest I have seen since I started searching this winter.

 Just as I can now tell when a redwood will have a 40 foot circumference, ( a "Wow! automatically escapes the lips) I think the same can now be said of a Douglas Fir with a 20 foot cbh (circumference breast height.) If an automatic reaction occurs, it's worth measuring.

 I spent several hours combing the hillsides and slogging through the ravines. Unfortunately, looking for big trees is turning into an addiction. It's like I need to get a fix after a few days of town life. Thankfully, there was plenty to see, experience, and enjoy today.

 It's funny, while struggling up the hillsides in Montgomery Woods yesterday, the thought popped in my mind  how I wished I had one of my hiking poles with me. Today, I rediscovered the joys of carrying a walking stick. It's been years since I carried one! The thought never occurred to me yesterday that all I had to do was find a staff on the ground! There is just something about a walking stick that a hiking pole does not have. I don't know what it is. I just feel more like a sage with a staff.

 The highlights of the day were finding the Douglas Firs, the California Nutmeg (see post below) and this one particular ancient redwood giant (pictured below). It had such a unique base, hollowed out by fire. I had to wonder if its days are numbered. As robust and alive as its crown appeared, it seemed as if the slightest nudge would topple the old beast.

After I had my fill, the day ended with one of the biggest turkey sandwiches I've ever eaten in my life from the market in Boonville. Another great day of redwood exploration.

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