A trip to Muir wood National Monument – A great experience

The Muir wood national Monument is 12 miles north of San francisco. It is named after the famous Scottish-American naturalist belonging to 20th century. We drove to the forest 2 weeks back to spend half a day. it is famous for its tall and imposing redwood trees. John Muir was a great conservation activist of the 20th century. He is today referred to as the “Father of the National Parks” in the US.

John Muir was an ecological thinker and had raised the environmental consciousness of Americans through his inspired writings. Here are a few quotable quotes from his writings:

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul”.

“God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools. Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away”.

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

Inspired by these words of wisdom, we decided to explore the place. I’m told that the tallest tree here is about 260 feet high. The trees form an impressive canopy making the walking paths cool and comfortable. The maximum temperature even in summer time is not more than 20 degree centigrade.

The main trail is the centerpiece of the forest and people visit mainly to see this. There are a few other trails branching off at different points from the main trail. The walkway made with wooden boards makes it easy to stroll.
The photographs below were taken during our walk through the main trail:

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There was a section in the trail which is called the cathedral groove.
The trees of Cathedral Grove form a multiple treetop canopy similar to the ceiling of a cathedral (see pics below). Beams of light filter down from the canopy of the Grove, giving an impression of being inside the main body of a church.
We tried to capture the beauty of this place in the photos below:

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Overall, it was a great pleasure trip as well as an aesthetic experience.

John Muir used to say: The forests and each tree has a story to tell.
I wondered what story a tree could tell. As I kept watching an impressive grove, this is the story I seemed to gather from the trees:
“Hey, we are about 800 years old and 260 feet tall. You want to know how to cross-check my age? Just take a small cross-section of my core and measure the number of rings or bands(see the third picture from above). In the beginning, we fiercely competed with each other to grow in height. You may wonder what we were competing for. We were competing for sunlight which is a rich source of nutrition for our growth. The taller we grow, the more we get exposed to the sunlight. We all ended up growing to the heights that you are seeing today. As we kept growing further we realized that this stupid growth is affecting our other parts. Stems, branches and leaves started becoming weak due to lack of nutrition because entire energy was being used up for growing tall. Soon, we made a pact and stopped growing. We formed a canopy instead. This ensured that all of us got equal sunshine and our branches and stems began growing strong and healthy.”

Is there a lesson here for our politicians who put undue emphasis on unbridled growth neglecting redistribution?

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Published in: on May 21, 2015 at 8:29 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Nicely penned,
    Ranganathan


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