As many of you know by now, I take a picture of Anna's Teddy on every National Park sign. There wasn't a sign for Sequoia & King's Canyon! I inquired of this anomaly and was told that the sign had been taken down and was in the shop for repairs. So there will be no picture of the 'cute one' with the sign.
Sequoia National Park is named for the giant old trees that grow there. The Sequoia tree grows up to 311 feet in height! Yup, hard to even see the top of the tree without toppling over backwards. The circumference of the trees at the base can be up to 103 feet! I noticed people would try to hug the trees and looked miniscule next to the tree. They weigh almost 3 million pounds each and can be as old as 3200 years old. Can you imagine the stories they could tell?!? That means some of the trees that we can see and touch today were alive nearly 1200 years before Jesus was here...mind boggling!
Notice the man taking a photo at the foot of the tree. We humans are nothing when standing next to these behemoths.
In the 1800's John Muir said,"I never saw a Big Tree that had died a natural death, barring accidents they seem to be immortal, being exempt from all diseases that afflict and kill other trees. Unless destroyed by man, they live on indefinitely until burned, smashed by lightning, or cast down by storms, or by the giving way of the ground on which they stand." This statement turned out to be incredibly accurate even though John didn't have the advantage of technology and science. The Sequoia for all it's immensity has no tap root. How does a tree this huge not have a tap root?
Did I mention the bark can be 31 inches thick?
Sequoias have other unique qualities that no other tree has. Did you know that the cones are the size of eggs and so hard that it usually takes a fire to release them from the tree? They can stay on the branches for 20 years before dropping. The seeds inside the cones are the size and weight of an oatmeal flake...so amazing.
Hiking was hazardous because there were a lot of the little cones on the ground. They are incredibly hard and if you step on them it's like being on a bunch of ball bearings. The other hazard of hiking among the giant trees is their giant branches. They can be 8-10 foot in diameter. The ranger warned me that if I heard a crack to run as fast as I could in the opposite direction. And then he added that sometimes they just fall with no warning or sound at all. Moral of the story is a branch that big falling from 300 feet will most definitely ruin your day...and your head.
The wildflowers were in full bloom in Sequoia! They were splendid and since I love taking pictures of flowers, you're going to see plenty of them posted here.
Sequoia is a treasure!
"When I entered this sublime wilderness the day was nearly done, the trees with rosy, glowing countenance seemed to be hushed and thoughtful, as if waiting in conscious religious dependence on the sun, and one naturally walked softly and awestricken among them"