Saving the Redwoods, Saving Ourselves
The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.
—John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley
Steinbeck didn’t live to see the work of a team of tree-climbing scientists who have now photographed two of the largest trees in the world: The President, a giant sequoia in Sequoia National Park featured in the breathtaking video above; and, in 2009, a coast redwood in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
Redwoods are spiritual beings to me; the redwood forest is my cathedral. When I need to get in touch with the universe, I go find a redwood. There is a little grove of coast redwoods in Bidwell Park within walking distance of my house; they were brought here as seedlings from Arcata. I visited the coast redwoods and the sequoias several times as a child and have returned many times as an adult. It’s like a pilgrimage to Mecca: