Sunday, December 1, 2013

Muir Woods National Monument: Photo Journey of the California Redwoods

 
Welcome to Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods National Park is a remnant of the ancient redwood forests that blanketed parts of the northern California coast back before the 1800's. William Kent and his wife Elizabeth Thacher Kent bought this land in 1905 in order to protect one of the last untouched areas of redwoods.  To protect the land the Kents donated the land to the federal government and in 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt used the 1906 Antiquities Act to declare the area a national monument which was later named after conservationist John Muir.
Muir Woods National Park Redwoods
Muir Woods National Monument is located 12 miles north of the Golden gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. It consists of a 560 acre park with six miles of trails meandering through some of the last remaining redwood forests in the world. 
Muir Woods National Park Redwoods Cathedral Grove
Much of the Northern Hemisphere was covered with Redwood-like trees 150 million years ago.  Climate change caused the numbers or Redwood to decrease drastically leaving only two species in California.  While many of the world's redwoods were lost due to industrialization and nearing extinction the canyon of redwoods in Muir Woods was never logged and remains preserved here today.
Muir Woods National Park Redwoods Cathedral Grove
The breathtaking Cathedral Grove represents trees ranging in age from 500 to 800 years with heights up to 258 feet towering towards the sky.  The main attraction of the Muir Woods is the Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) seen here, a relative of the Giant Sequoia which is known for its great heights.  The oldest tree existing in the park is over a remarkable 1,200 years old. 
Muir Woods National Park Redwoods Cathedral Grove
It is a beautiful sight as the rays of sunshine stream down through the canopy of trees into the park.  The lingering fog presents a misty appearance.
Muir Woods National Park Redwoods
Many of the redwoods in the park are now petrified after hundreds and thousands of years...
Muir Woods National Park Redwoods
with hues of purple and green ingrained into the wood.
Muir Woods National Park Redwoods Petrified Wood
This tree was hollowed out by a fire years ago and has become petrified into stone.
Muir Woods National Park Redwoods Petrified Wood
Many remains from the fire can be seen throughout this area in the park.  Wildfires frequently occurred every 20 to 50 years in  this area before fire suppression began in the 1800's. Controlled burning has been established to keep the integrity of the ecosystem alive as fire benefits the forest floor through the recycling of nutrients.
Muir Woods National Park Redwoods
Below... the naming of the California redwood is explained.
Muir Woods National Park Redwoods
The first written reference to redwoods was from a missionary in October of 1769 as seen above.
Muir Woods National Park Redwoods
Beneath the canopy of redwood trees are California big leaf maples, tan-bark oaks,  red alders, Douglas fir and various species of ferns.  Redwood Creek flows through the park while several bridges cross over the calmly moving waters for visitors walking the trails.
Muir Woods National Park Redwoods
The inside appearance of a fallen tree can reveal a lifetime of events.  Annual rings and fire scars on this tree can be seen showing the climate record and history of this redwood.  Generally large annual rings are a sign of plentiful rainfall and nutrients and much growth while narrow rings are a sign of stress and struggle for survival.
Muir Woods National Park Redwoods

The redwoods in the park flourish in California's fog belt where and yearly daytime temperatures range between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  During the drier summer months the forest is layered in fog which keeps the park cool and moist year round.  On average the park receives up to 40 inches of rain during the winter months which supports the moisture requirement of the redwoods.

For more information on Muir Woods visit Muir Woods.

Muir Woods National Monument
1 Muir Woods Road
Mill Valley, CA 94941



Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.  All photos are the property of A Guide to Northeastern Gardening.
 

8 comments:

  1. Wow! Fabulous park and amazing trees, Lee! Glad you had a chance to visit.

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    1. Thank you Astrid. It was amazing and there is a whole history there.

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  2. This is such a wonderful educational trip. I saw the redwoods many years ago and coincidentally, my husband was talking just today about visiting since he never was there. I remember being in awe. When I was in SF this year, I so much wanted to visit being 12 miles away. I think I was in the minority for that trip though.

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    1. Funny that you were just discussing this with your husband. It is such a worthwhile trip to see the redwoods. It is a shame that there are so few left and it is good to know that they are protected at Muir Woods.

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    2. Thank you for this post, it reminds me of a very happy day; I spent my very first day in the USA visiting Muir Woods, our friends thought the woods would be a gentle introduction to SF after the long flight. It was so peaceful, I loved it.

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    3. It is nice to hear that this brought back fond memories for you. It is a peaceful and beautiful place and I am glad you got to experience it. This was my first time ever seeing the redwoods and I had heard so much about them.

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  3. Lee, stunning trunks, such large trees! I love your photos of sun rays going through the trunks. I learned how the redwoods are (here they aren't). Gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks Nadezda. It was a great place for photographing at different angles and capturing the light. I had a lot of fun with the camera!

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Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!

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