Old Trees

May 13, 2014
Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias
Total Distance: 3 miles

This is also a good trail for skiing and snowshoeing during winter.

This is also a good trail for skiing and snowshoeing during winter.

Merced Grove, though the smallest of three Giant Sequoia groves in Yosemite National Park, is my favorite because it’s the most secluded and least crowded.  Chris and I visited the grove to see some of the largest living things on earth.

These old trees have plenty of tannin which helps keep them immune from insects and fungi.

These old trees have plenty of tannin which helps keep them immune from insects and fungi.

We entered the forest from the small, paved parking lot.  There, the path was wide and the  dirt soft.  We walked through the din of chattering birds and squirrels.

The flat half of the trail.

The flat half of the trail.

At a signed fork in the trail, we headed left and descended six hundred feet on a narrower and rockier path.  Below the trail, Moss Creek flowed silently and dogwoods bloomed under a canopy of towering pines.

There were several dogwoods in bloom.

There were several dogwoods in bloom.

We approached the ancient grove at the forest floor where five sturdy Sequoias stood like sentries protecting their home.

There are about 20 Sequoia trees in this grove.

There are about 20 Sequoia trees in this grove.

From there the trail leveled.

Looking up...and up....and up.

Looking up…and up….and up.

We walked in awe passed several more Giant Sequoias and dogwoods until we reached Russell Cabin.

Youthful dogwoods amid mature Sequoias.

Youthful dogwoods amid mature Sequoias.

Russell Cabin was constructed in the 1930’s and served as a ranger station and a place for an occasional retreat for the park superintendent.

Russell Cabin.  Photo taken July 1, 2011

Russell Cabin. Photo taken July 1, 2011

We sat on the sunny porch looking at the trees of the forest.

Happy to be here.

Happy to be here.

Across the cabin steps sat two Sequoias, one that suffered burn damage at its base with a scar large enough to stand in.

Scarred by fire, but still living.

Scarred by fire, but still living.

The trail continued beyond the cabin through a lush greenness that thoroughly bespoke spring.

The end of the cleared trail.  Beyond was a jumble of fallen trees along an unmanicured path.

The end of the cleared trail. Beyond was a jumble of fallen trees along an unmanicured path.

We left the cabin and traversed the uphill path passing only one or two wildflowers on the way back.

Mountain Violet

Mountain Violet

I wondered what was going on in the world when these old trees were sprouting? Though I didn’t know the answer off-hand, I was content to be near them and to touch them knowing that they will be standing long after I am not.

Walking back between two Sequoias.

Walking back between two Sequoias.

 

18 thoughts on “Old Trees

  1. Dad

    Another great walk in the woods. I never get tired of reading your blogs and looking at the great pictures. I’m happy that you live close enough to take advantage of the opportunity to explore such a beautiful area!!!
    Dad

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  2. Sharon Corbin

    After living in Minnesota and exploring all that it has to offer, I am amazed at the wonder of Yosemite. Thank you for sharing all of your hikes and exploring of the region.

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  3. ellen peterson

    Okay… I live in the Pacific Northwest (Washington) and I’m no stranger to big beautiful trees however…your pictures left in in awe. Only our great God could create such magnificence.
    Love all your pictures and that you freely share them with us. 🙂

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  4. Marlene Brown

    Thanks, Janet! We’ve been at the start of this walk…..last time a bear was blocking the way….so we turned back!

    I love your blogs,

    hugs,

    M

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  5. Kathy

    I am worshiping by these giants, too. Thanks for sharing them. I am also pondering your comment about retirement and wondering whether that shall ever happen with us. Dreaming…

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