Into the (red)Woods...

You'd think a person born in "Redwood City, CA." would be into them. Redwoods.
You'd think so, right? This happenstance-of-fate had less to do with my parent's 60's connection to the Earth and more to do with my Mother's OB/GYN moving in her third trimester from Los Gatos. She took the bus (very pregnant with me) to stay with the doctor after his transfer. I was born in friggin' SEQUOIA Hospital! Those first six months in utero must have had a greater impact because I really like cats ( los gatos) and am utterly blaise about a tree EVERYONE loves in California - the Coast Redwood ( Sequoia sempervirens)
Pretty. Smells nice. Have to wear a jacket cuz it's cold there. After " Wow, that's...tall", what then? I'm a Child of the 70's - we drove through them for kicks. The ones you could drive through with your car. Lots of fun for 7-yr-olds. All of the special ones had majestic names...if they hadn't been turned into roadside, chainsaw art of Big Foot ( More on Squatch later..)
My Mom would write a bad check for some burl in a gift shop that we would take home and watch grow, like Sea Monkeys only slower. One of the cats would inevitably pee in the special Redwood plate we needed to grow the burl. Seems weird to be able to buy pieces of a tree in a place protecting them. We'd go "camping" when I was a kid in a place called Cabana Holiday near Piercy, CA. - a glorified motel with a fire pit. Jolly Rancher Apple Sticks, the Trees of Mystery and flirting with 13-year-old girls with Farrah Fawcett-Majors hairdos. I was 11, rockin the same floppy bangs.
My little brother Colin and myself almost dying from taking a short cut from the trail up a shale cliff from the Eel River and falling face first back down. Bloody-faced and crying all the way back to our Mother's arms. Saw real eels in the Eel River though.
The short cut was my idea.
"It's my favorite place in the world!", JJ said to me. We'd met the first time on the Green Hairstreak Biobiltz and found we were both in our freshman year of the same new obsession: lichens. " Really?", I said, " Redwoods? Huh, I just...don't get it."
Known by "metsa" here at iNaturalist, she invited me for a 10-day camping trip with she and her husband Tom V. to go north near the Oregon border. To get me in the mood, she lent me THE WILD TREES by Richard Preston. Between the silly soap opera, it's the true story of Steve Sillet - the guy who climbed and searched for the Tallest of the Tall redwoods and exposed the world to the little-researched world of their canopies. " He found what amount to a coral reef in the air" Interesting. Yeah, I'll go for the lichens and ( secretly ) for the salamanders.
Few days along the "Avenue of the Giants" along Highway 101. I appreciated the now-and-then motel in amongst the tenting. These two are hardcore campers. Me, more than a night and I'm longing for a Complimentary/Continental breakfast. The big hike occurred in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. 4.3 miles out with gear to the beach. A "hard freeze" of 29 degrees overnight let me woke to a...tent/igloo. Thank the Lord Tom V. might be the Greatest Fire Maker alive. Looked for Tailed Frogs in the beautiful Fern Canyon. I don't have shoulders, just a rack of clavicle bones, so two days of "backpacking" - pure torture. And lets be honest, my gear sucked. Saw no frogs but many Roosevelt Elk. Laughed a great deal about "Squatch Behavior" with Tom V. - "See this broken branch? Definitely Squatch behavior"
Two of the days we were lucky enough to spend with Tom Carlberg. One in my first "Dune Forest" in Arcata and another along the South Fork/Smith River. He is a Master Lichenologist ( and could make a Killing recording audio books: a voice smooth as Lauren Bacall drinking cough syrup - the good kind.) Sidebar: I now wear as a Badge-of-Honor I was denied attendance to his Jepson Workshop cuz I don't know how to "key plants". Couldn't have a person more Enthusiast-on-the subject and Eagled Eye Finding them, but those Plant People. ( said tongue and cheek - I really do need to learn the Big Words.) The Latin was flying these two glorious days as every few feet a new one was revealed. I'm sure it has to do with being an Illustrator: color, insane form, and a life history that I don't even feign to understand. JJ actually giggled when she'd see one. I Loved That! Does one's love of Nature need any other connection than that? A smile just doesn't do it so it...overflows...to laughter. So much laughter with this wonderful woman, with Tom V. and Tom C. We played a mean game of pool in a dive bar in Klamath on New Year's Eve. Tom V. is a shark.
When I got home, I picked back up the book. Lobaria, Prairie Creek, Jedidiah Smith had all become more real since I went there. Steve Sillett says towards the end: " I think there is a chance, just a chance, that we can actually appreciate and understand how redwoods work in our life times. I wouldn't have said that the first time I climbed here." I wouldn't have said that the first time I walked here but...I will again.
And finally, Salmon Jerky is downright nasty.

Posted by robberfly robberfly, January 05, 2015 02:52

Observations

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Coast Redwood Sequoia sempervirens

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 25, 2014 02:15 PM PST

Description

Founder's Tree - 360'

Photos / Sounds

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 26, 2014 09:41 AM PST

Description

Waiting for Visitor's Center to open. Parking lot = Christmas morning of lichen presents!

Photos / Sounds

What

Tree Lungwort Lobaria pulmonaria

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 26, 2014 09:47 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Methuselah's Beard Lichen Usnea longissima

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 2014

Description

A.k.a "Methuselah beard" An incredible rare lichen and now a Species-of-Concern. A complete thrill to look up at a tree covered in this.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Forest Scorpion Uroctonus mordax

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 26, 2014 02:30 PM PST

Description

This one was incredibly teal in color. The ones I've seen in the Bay Area are dark.

Photos / Sounds

What

Plethodontine Salamanders Subfamily Plethodontinae

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 2014

Description

Saw a baby one of these w/ Ken-ichi in Santa Cruz last spring. cool to see an adult...

Photos / Sounds

What

Waxcaps Genus Hygrocybe

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 29, 2014 11:56 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Deer Fern Struthiopteris spicant

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 29, 2014 02:28 PM PST

Description

Beautiful, small one below the Sword Ferns.,,

Photos / Sounds

What

Wandering Salamander Aneides vagrans

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 2014

Description

At least I think so...

Photos / Sounds

What

Painted Ensatina Ensatina eschscholtzii ssp. picta

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 2014

Description

Looks like an intergrade....

Photos / Sounds

What

Brittlegills Genus Russula

Observer

robberfly

Date

January 1, 2015 01:51 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Lettuce Lichen Lobaria oregana

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 31, 2014 12:11 PM PST

Description

Cool new one for me..,

Photos / Sounds

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 31, 2014 11:42 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Ruffled Freckled Pelt Lichen Peltigera leucophlebia

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 31, 2014 12:46 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Kidney Lichens Genus Nephroma

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 31, 2014 11:53 AM PST

Description

These were spectacular!

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Polypody Ferns Genus Polypodium

Observer

robberfly

Date

January 2, 2015 10:05 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Redwood Sideband Monadenia infumata

Observer

robberfly

Date

January 2, 2015 10:13 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Oregon Ensatina Ensatina eschscholtzii ssp. oregonensis

Observer

robberfly

Date

January 2, 2015 10:07 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Hairy Earthtongue Trichoglossum hirsutum

Observer

robberfly

Date

January 2, 2015 12:41 PM PST

Description

metsa's cool find at the end of the hike ..,

Photos / Sounds

What

Devil's Matchstick Pilophorus acicularis

Observer

robberfly

Date

January 2, 2015 11:53 AM PST

Description

Known as "Devil's Matchstick" Was the coolest collection of them. Strange they are part of the Crustose group...

Photos / Sounds

What

Oregon Ensatina Ensatina eschscholtzii ssp. oregonensis

Observer

robberfly

Date

January 2, 2015 03:31 PM PST

Description

Pure Oregon as we drop down south. No intergrade markings...

Photos / Sounds

What

Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 29, 2014

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Varied Thrush Ixoreus naevius

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 29, 2014

Description

These birds are friggin everywhere this season. Like pidgeons...

Photos / Sounds

What

Roosevelt Elk Cervus canadensis ssp. roosevelti

Observer

robberfly

Date

December 30, 2014

Description

Slightly confused by this creature...a reintroduction and is it the same as Tule Elk?

Comments

Thumb

Plant people ARE great! ;)

Enjoyed living vicariously through your observations and journal on iNat, Liam! :)

Posted by sambiology over 6 years ago (Flag)

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