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Thursday, May 27, 2010

THE BIG TREES

“When I entered this sublime wilderness the day was nearly done. The trees with rosy, glowing countenances 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.” - John Muir

Getting to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks was not easy. Not only because we had to go out of our way, but because we had to drive through a lot of California traffic to get there. We have always wanted to see these two parks when we traveled through California in the past, but there were always too many obstacles. This time we didn’t let that stop us. Dick gets very uptight driving on expressways and through cities. Being blind in one eye, he has no depth perception and depends on me to help with changing lanes, backing up, etc... I keep telling him to let me drive but that rarely happens. He loves to yell and call people names. The problem is, I’m the one who has to listen to him. Once we arrive and get parked, he is a happy camper - most of the time. I know how much he needs solitude and he is the happiest in the backcountry.
The big trees are amazing. In all the world sequoias grow naturally only on the West slope of the Sierra Nevada, most often between 5,000 and 7,000 feet of elevation. We took several pictures, but it’s hard to capture their immenseness. Kings Canyon is where the Grant Tree (the nation’s Christmas tree) is located. Sequoia National Park has the General Sherman Tree which is the largest living tree in the world, estimated at 2,300 years old. Of course we did several day hikes, exploring the canyons among the big trees. Dick wanted to do an overnight hike but there was too much snow in the high country. As you will see in the pictures there is still quite a bit of snow because of the high elevation, but the springtime weather was beautiful. I will keep this short because a picture is worth a thousand words. 
(the background music for the video is printed below the video)




The Mummers' Dance by Loreena McKinnett

When in the springtime of the year
When the trees are crowned with leaves
When the ash and oak, and the birch and yew
Are dressed in ribbons fair
When owls call the breathless moon
In the blue veil of the night
The shadows of the trees appear
Amidst the lantern light
We've been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
we bring a garland gay
Who will go down to those shady groves
And summon the shadows there
And tie a ribbon on those sheltering arms
In the springtime of the year
The songs of birds seem to fill the wood
That when the fiddler plays
All their voices can be heard
Long past their woodland days
And so they linked their hands and danced
Round in circles and in rows
And so the journey of the night descends
When all the shades are gone
"A garland gay we bring you here
And at your door we stand
It is a sprout well budded out
The work of Our Lord's hand" 

4 comments:

  1. thanks for the Mummer's lyrics just as the snow retreats a fitting intro to a new Spring.
    we're dancing with you

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  2. wow. nice tune to view the huge lumber by. well engineered! i see budding video/foto production co. keep smiling! and be of good cheer.

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  3. Beautiful....... I loved the Redwoods and then the Sequoias. Such different habitats. I still have a great picture of a very twisted tree growing out of a rock up in Kings Canyon. Some pretty awesome roads to get there too!!

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  4. Terrific photo of General Sherman! We didn't get to see this giant this visit West. We did however meet two travelers from Michigan who have inspired us to take another trek.

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