Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Muir Wood

California Redwood
Last week I took a trip to California and found myself in Muir Wood. This is one of the last virgin stands of redwood left standing and I confess I was well and truly awed by the immensity of these trees.

We're not only talking immense tree structures, we're also talking about massive energy systems and extensive root spread.

Naturally, I took a rather good look at the trees - and I want to make a few points.

1) The pathway between the trees is paved with asphalt - in my mind a disconnect between the trees, what they stand for and the society that paves a nature walk. This paving is second only to the "nature trail" on the east coast outer islands that is wide enough to drive a car on - and at times of the day this is done. Drive a car on a nature trail! Pave a forest! What mentality is this?

2)Every tree within reach (there is a small rail fence) has scuffed bark. It is not enough for people to see these trees, they must touch them (understandable). Thousands of hands every day touch each tree - the bark is shredded everywhere it can be reached.

3) Signs are everywhere saying "stay on the path!". People everywhere are ignoring the signs and jumping over the rail fence - mostly to take a picture.

4) The energy systems in these trees is slow, old and deep. Very impressive and something I had never felt before.

5) I weep for this destroyed ecology. I'm sure these forest giants made great pencils. And I can only wonder at how a society can be so ruthless and uncaring that it would leave only a small dot - a tip of a pencil - of these plants.

6) We deserve whatever nature visits upon us.


At 11:34 PM, Blogger ayse said...

Actually, redwood makes terrible pencils; you use cedar for that. But my 130-year-old house is made of old-growth redwood (as are hundreds of others in the Bay Area), with 35-foot tall wall studs of heartwood.

Sometimes when we have to open a wall for some repair or renovation, I look at that wood and think it's a sort of holy relic we are entrusted with caring for: the last remains of a matyred giant.

They are magnificent trees. Glad you enjoyed them.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Heidi said...

Very well said...

if only the administration of our government felt the same way... and say that I guess because they are the administration, if only the citizens felt the same way.

Love your blog...

At 8:46 AM, Blogger garden said...

I went to Muir woods also. I heartily agree with you about the incongruities and also the majesty. It's an awsome place.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Doug Green said...

OK - I screwed up with two great comments. I accidentally hit the "reject" button instead of the "accept" button. If your comment isn't here - please resubmit it. I do publish all comments that are relevant and not profane - even critical ones.



At 11:09 AM, Anonymous deb said...

Since you "rejected" me last time, I'll try again ;-)
Don't forget that all of the population is not able to negotiate a natural woodland path. Wheelchair users and others with mobility problems like to appreciate our natural world too and I applaud the fact that the trail was paved. If you want a more "natural" experience, get out in the back country!

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Doug Green said...

Interesting -

1) There is no more "back country" for these trees - they've been logged. This is the last virgin stand - you *can't* see them anywhere else. More's the pity.

2) Political correctness rears its ugly head. Why is it that everybody needs access? There are limitations in life. Some are physical - some are otherwise. But we all have 'em.

Yes, it is too bad that some folks can't see those trees.

But I'll be damned if I think that paving a nature trail is a great idea - even in the name of political correctness.


At 11:31 AM, Anonymous deb said...

Did you consider that a paved path is keeping people from wandering all over the place and compacting the soil?
And I beg to differ that there is no back country for redwoods. While Muir Woods protects one of the few stands remaining in the San Francisco Bay area, there are other vast stands of redwoods in Northern California.
And your comment about limitations in life is spoken by someone who has not faced any.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Doug Green said...

Consider that the fence keeps the people from wandering not the paved path.

And whether I'm limited in some way or other is not likely known to you - (on the Internet nobody knows you're a dog according the the NYTimes) That's an assumption on your part.

Given we're not likely to agree on political correctness- let's agree to enjoy the majesty of these trees and agree it's too bad they're disappearing.


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