The Eighth Wonders

Clintonia andrewsiana bearing blue fruits at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

Blue as Blue Can Be

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Redwoods are red, Red clintonia is now blue, It’s fall in the forest, Bearing fruits of a brilliant hue. The large shiny green leaves of red clintonia, or Andrew’s clintonia, grow in moist sandy soil in the redwood forest. This …

Coast redwood boasting colorful fall leaves at Humboldt Redwoods State Park in August.

True colors are showing

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As summer rolls on every year, people always ask me with concern about why their redwoods have orange foliage. Is it a sign of drought? Is the redwood sick? Luckily for the redwoods, the answer to these questions is quite …

Scraping teeth of a bear left this young redwood missing bark.

Bear Breakfast No Picnic for Redwoods

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If you go out in the woods today You’re sure of a big surprise. If you go out in the woods today You’d better go in disguise For every bear that ever there was Will gather there for certain, because …

Redwood canopy.

Walking in the Shadows

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Yesterday, I wandered through Muir Woods National Monument looking up at the redwood canopy on a perfectly warm, late summer afternoon. I didn’t wander alone, I shared the paths with many park visitors, staff and volunteers from the Monument and …

Giant sequoia snag.

Giant Sequoia Snags

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A giant sequoia can grow for more than 2,000 years and in that time easily earn its reputation for being one of the most massive trees on Earth. While the giant sequoia’s sheer size is certainly amazing enough, these giants …

Researcher Wendy Baxter climbs a fixed rope up into a 86.6m-tall giant sequoia tree at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Photo by Anthony Ambrose

Barking up the Right Tree

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It’s summertime and redwood researchers are putting on their climbing gear and ascending  into the leafy crowns of giant sequoias. A slow climb is worth the effort to see how the giants are growing. But why climb hundreds of feet …

Elk Clover. Photo by Keir Morse

A Healing Giant among Redwoods

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Meet a fascinating plant of redwood country: elk clover, also known as California spikenard (Aralia californica), is the only member of the ginseng family that is native to California.  It’s a perennial deciduous plant (meaning it sheds its leaves in …

Redwoods compete for sunlight.

The Olympic-like Competition among Redwoods

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There’s nothing quite like the image of five Olympic rings to remind me of good old competition! I love the excitement that builds up as the games begin, wondering who will reign supreme. Trees may not be aware of our …

Miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)

The Hunger Greens

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Montia perfoliata The forest stretches out for miles all around you. You find a large redwood tree that has been hollowed out at the base by ancient fires to sleep in tonight so you can stay out of the wind …

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

Fifty Shades of Green

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Leaves rustle with the breeze all around you in the redwood forest. I’ve heard leaves called nature’s solar panels and they are the original and perhaps only truly green energy. They absorb carbon dioxide from the air and mix it …

Fires and humans shape redwood forests.

Impact of Humans on Forest Spans Thousands of Years

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Imagine being the first person to set foot inside the redwood forest. I can picture this visitor pushing through lush ferns as they gazed up at the towering trees. This brave explorer would have no trails to follow as they …

Lunularia cruciata

Meet a Tiny Wonder of the Forest

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I’m pleased to introduce you to this tiny cutie of the redwood forest: Lunularia cruciata! I can guarantee that you’ve been in this tiny plant’s presence in the redwood forest, but maybe just didn’t notice it. Lunularia is a liverwort, …