Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fallen Redwood Giant/Albino/Lichen

 The most interesting part of Sunday's hike was towards the end of the day. I wanted to check on an albino I found last year and see how it was doing. When I walked closer to the location of the albino, I noticed that a redwood tree had fallen very recently, and it appeared that it may have smashed the albino, or may have been the albino's host tree that had fallen. Thankfully, when I reached the base of the fallen tree, the albino was still alive and well, and just missed getting smashed in the fall. It was only a few feet away from the massive trunk lying on the ground.
 It always amazes me how when a redwood falls, it seems to throw off every single branch and limb. I was excited for another opportunity to examine various lichen growing in the tree's canopy. Daylight was decreasing, as well as my camera battery, but I managed to capture photos of a few of the specimens lying about.

Of course I had time to contemplate mortality and time as well. I wondered if the tree was still alive as I was walking all over it. It was humbling to think about the many centuries this tree has lived, and all the changes it would have seen, if it had eyes, to the surrounding land.  I remembered how just a few months ago, I saw this same tree standing, of course not knowing that it was living it's final 90 out of 365,000 days.
The picture above is a photo I took back in October 2012. The now fallen tree can be seen leaning on the left hand side of the picture. The ground was unbelievably soft and muddy around the base on Sunday. I guess it collapsed under it's own weight and maybe due to the saturated earth.

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