Monday, November 24, 2014

Unforgettable Experience With Nature!


I was off blogging for a month.  Now, will start writing about our trip to California during the period.  Our visit to the Muir Woods was one of the best experience during our trip.  This is my son's favourite area.  He goes trekking often to this park.  The first trip he took us was to this place. It was a pleasant experience. These redwood trees have become my favourite trees now!

This Park is situated 12 miles on the north of San Francisco and is spread over 240 acres of land near the Pacific ocean.  These trees are found near the ocean bordering the coastal region of America.  They need moisture throughout the year.  The fog which forms during the winter in the ocean, spreads to the forest and keeps them damp through the summer too. 

Another link says: The average age of the coastal redwoods at Muir Woods is between 600 to 800 years, with the oldest being at least 1200 years old. This is still young for redwoods as they can live up to 2200 years. Being long-lived and large in size, they play a significant role in carbon, nutrient, and water cycling in the forest, helping to support an abundance of plant and animal life.

Wiki says:
Before the logging industry came to California, there were an estimated 2 million acres (8,000 km2) of old growth forest containing redwoods growing in a narrow strip along the coast. By the early 20th century, most of these forests had been cut down. Just north of the San Francisco Bay, one valley named Redwood Canyon remained uncut, mainly due to its relative inaccessibility.
This was noticed by U.S. Congressman William Kent He and his wife, Elizabeth Kent, purchased 611 acres (247 ha) of land from the Tamalpais Land and Water Company,  $45,000 with the goal of protecting the redwoods and the mountain above them. Read more in the link.  He named the woods in the famous naturalist's name John Muir.

Now, to my view of the forest:

The straight tall trees grow for more than 300 feet tall.  And they have very thin branches with small sized leaves. The trunks become broader through years.  It was a pleasant feeling walking in between these tree.

The old trees have got huge trunks! Click on the pictures to have a better view pl. on the photo to read clearly.  Interesting read.
Passages like these help even the people who come on a wheel chair to enjoy this forest/park.
New trees grow around the burnt one after forest fires, from the roots. 
The fallen old tree becomes nutrient supplements in the long run.  The whole area is damp which helps to protect the trees from drying up during summer or drought which is there now.  I read this in some link: "The importance of a tree does not diminish after it has stopped living. It is a common saying here at Muir Woods that only half the life a tree is spent standing, while the other half is spent on the ground."
The new tree coming out from the root of an old tree!
People stand here and take photographs!
I noticed many trees growing like groups!

The cross section of a Redwood tree.  Very interesting information is written here! You can read the details clearly in this video.
I saw this tree near the car park which is near the entrance.  No vehicle is allowed inside.  We have to walk.  I noticed green moss on the branches.  
Since winter was nearing, birds were not to be seen.  I saw some small birds near the car park.  

There was a gift shop, a cafe, and a restroom inside the forest/park.  I think I saw cyclists inside! Read more about other details in the wiki link or this link. 
I came across another link also, which is interesting.

Hmmm...I wonder for how long this forest will survive among us, destructive humans.  Thousands of new saplings are planted here by nature lovers it seems.  Hope the tribe increases in future.  

P.S.: I looked for a reply to Destination Infinity's question.  I found this answer:

" The trees' lives are measured in centuries, not decades like other trees. Many reach 600 years of age, though some trees have been found that are as old as 2,000 years old. New trees can grow from seeds, but many sprouts grow from the stump of cut or fallen trees." (link) Google showed images of fruits too. I am not very sure of them, though.

EDITED TO ADD: (3.12.14)  Came across this interesting link now.  It explains how water reaches the top of the TALL redwood trees! Please read.  It is interesting even for me!

'Redwoods have a system of interconnected wood cells for carrying water. The hollow, short, thin cells are stacked intricately to form an incredibly tall column, extending from the roots through the branches and stems to the leaves....'


SG said...

Thanks for the beautiful photos. You made me homesick.

Rama Ananth said...

Beautiful place. Good pictures taken there.

Sandhya said...

SG: Thank you, SG! You made my day today.

Is there anyother important information about this place which was left out? This place is very nice.

I can understand how you feel, SG!

Sandhya said...

RAMA ANANTH: Thank you, Rama!

KParthasarathi said...

Very informative and a good narration along with nice pictures.Are there small vehicles to take one who cannot walk long around?

Sandhya said...

KPARTHASARATHY: I noticed senior citizens being taken by wheel chairs...I didn't see any battery vehicle. I noticed motorised wheel chairs used by senior citizens and invalid people everywhere in the places where I went and here, in this park too. They were not dependent on anybody. Buses had facility to take the wheel chairs...I know that you know all these details, Partha Sir! I admired this aspect of the States.

This park will be covered by fog till March, I was told.

Thank you, Partha Sir!

Shail Mohan said...

I love trees so much and such places are my favorite. Your post reminded me of my visit to a similar park in Big Sur. the atmosphere is so soothing. I can spend hours there withotu ever getting bored :)
Lovely pictures, Sandhya. Waiting to read more about your visit.

Sandhya said...

SHAIL MOHAN: Big Sur also is famous for redwood trees, I read. Like you, I love places like these always. We spent a lot of time here. My son had gone trekking here many times and he too loves this place. Fist outing with him was to this place! We can blend with nature here! Lift up your head and we feel so happy to be there!

Destination Infinity said...

The redwood trees seem to be huge, and that always makes a treat to watch. Do they give some fruit or something?

Logging forests happen everywhere. It's plain human greed that destroys 800 year old trees in a few days. Earlier, we used to practice logging selectively, so that only a few trees are cut and the area is left to rejuvenate. But nowadays, people don't seem to care about sustainability. They only want comforts and luxury.

Destination Infinity

Renu said...

I was wondering where have you gone:) are very nice..AI like to roam around nature..and in US they make everything very approachable..

ashok said...

reminds me of "The woods are lovely dark & deep..."

umsreflections said...

Such a lovely picture filled post...made me feel one with nature. I am very glad that the couple bought that land and protected this place - something wonderful they have left behind for the future generation.
Love your pics...esp those which come out near a burnt tree !! Life survives even in the smallest way.
Agree...we can spend the whole day and never get bored !

Sandhya said...

DESTINATION INFINITY: I didn't see any seeds though but noticed new trees coming out from the roots. Googled and have posted the link in the post. Good question.

Humans are experts in spoiling environment, D.I.

RENU: Yes, Renu. I noticed many seniors and invalid people road around alone in this park in wheel chairs. And the place is very safe for even children. They were running here and there.

Thank you, Renu! We can spend time in this type of environment for hours. Very peaceful.

ASHOK: Yes, the place is lovely, Ashok!

UMSREFLECTIONS: Happy to note that you read what is written in detail, Uma! I have got many more pictures. I was just standing there and gazing at them. Son said that trekking in the narrow footpaths was very interesting!

Thank you!

BK Chowla, said...

Seems you had a nice long vacation and enjoyed your stay there..
Pictures are lovely.
And explanation is so well given

Jeevan said...

I have seen only banana trees rose from the base of another... but the family circles truly amazing!

I too love to take a stroll among those tall trees and glad to see they created smooth tracks for wheelchair users. Excellent photos from the woods

Locomente said...

Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures!

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

Nice post and beautiful pics. I started blogging in 2006 and one of my earliest posts was on on Muir Woods.
You can log no to this:

sharu said...

wow, beautiful photos and description of that place! very nice and informative..thanks, enjoyed reading it mami..

Sandhya said...

BK CHOWLA: Yes, Chowlaji! This time we started going out on our own without my niece or son, which was more interesting and adventurous for us! We went on the wrong way in the BART train, corrected the mistakes and laughingly caught the train on the opposite side and did the same in bus too! Senior citizens like us were treated like children and it was fun!

JEEVAN: It was a good experience, Jeevan and thank you!

LOCOMENTE: Thanks for visiting, Locomonte!

SHARU: Thank you, Sharada!

RAMAKRISHNAN RAMANATHAN: Thank you, Ramakrishnan!

Read the old post of yours and it has got more information which is interesting!

Zephyr said...

Lovely informative post, Sandhya. It is such things that make travel worth the while. Give me natural wonders and retreat any day over monuments, though the latter can be equally interesting sometimes :)

Sandhya said...

ZEPHYR: I just stood there and watched the light through the top of the was an experience! We can spend days exploring every corner of this park. Hope it stays like it is now, for a long time.

radha said...

The forests in the US will survive. They are careful sbout their natural resorces. They import all their requirements of wood and wood based products from other countries.

Whatever their reasons, one can only admire they manner in which they preserve the nature and ałlow the public to enjoy them

Sandhya said...

RADHA: I agree with you, Radha. And the people also respect their environment.

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