Thoughts on Redwoods

Walking through the redwood groves of the various state parks that we visited en route to Seattle (Richardson Grove, Prairie Creek, and Jedediah Smith Redwoods SPs), it’s unavoidable to end up on one of the interpretive trails with information panels that offer background information on the trees, their habitat, their history.

Sequoia growing in a bundle at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California. May 2013.
Sequoia growing in a bundle at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California. May 2013.

One of the signs said that, no matter who you are, seeing redwoods will touch and change you, and it is certainly true. The trees in their sheer mass are a presence, and their size and age reminds us how small and unimportant we really are. A Facebook friend added another interesting thought: the life of “Big Tree” at Prairie Creek Redwoods SP, a tree that is estimated to be about 1500 years old, began when the Roman Empire ended.

But at the same time, we small and insignificant humans have reduced the original redwood population to only 4% (95% of these are in California). That’s all that is left of these magnificent trees. They’re precious, and I’m glad that we saw so many state parks in central and northern California, where they are protected.

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