Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Walk in the Woods

 In her younger days, my mom hiked down Ray Gulch from above, something I've never done. This time, we went in to it from the highway, just to stretch our legs for a few yards.

The redwoods here are stained with silt, left by regular winter flooding of the Navarro River on the other side of the highway. The rhizomes of sword ferns and redwood sorrel survive the inundations to emerge and flourish in the spring. In the middle of this picture, multiple trunks of relatively young redwoods sprout from the charred remains of one of the original giants, long ago cut, milled, and sent to San Francisco for building (most likely). River flats like these are prime locations for growing the largest possible coast redwoods. All it takes is a thousand years of being left alone.

Salmonberries are already ripening, near the edge of the forest. Yes, I ate the best one before I thought to take a picture. Sweet and golden.


Petrea Burchard said...

One of my favorite U.S.E. posts ever.

USelaine said...

Thank you, P. It was a fine day.