Saturday, November 5, 2011

2 Fallen Giants

This morning on the radio I heard we lost 2 recently. Any Rooney died last night. I had no idea he was so close to the end when his last piece aired about a month ago, but I am sad to loose such a curmudgeon who seemed to have no trouble thinking straight. I already miss him. I should be grateful he went on so long in apparent good health, or good enough.
The second giant that fell was a Giant Sequoia in California's Sierra Nevada on the Trail of 100 Giants. The tree was about 1500 years old. That means it started growing during the reign of the Knights of the Round table. These Sequoia live to be about 4000 years old and so was just middle aged. It was actually 2 trees fused at the base and they were about 17 feet in diameter at breast height (dbh is a standard forestry measure.) They trees looked healthy and their demise may have been caused by an especially wet peroid last winter. The soil was too soft to hold the tree upright and it just pulled out of the ground. This seems an iffy explanation to me. If it was wet weather last winter, why is it just now falling?? We are almost to winter a year later.
At any rate, the falling tree was seen by a handful of tourists and one couple ran to get out of the way. This has never happened before in the Sequoia National Forest and the Forest Service is not sure what to do about it. Some suggestions have been to cut the trail through the tree, to reroute the trail around the tree, tunnel under it, or sell it for firewood. (There are always nuts around). While the Forest Service ruminates over what to do, tourists are allowed to climb and walk over something that only wildlife has ever walked on. I wish I could go see it. The oak that fell in my own yard was an eye opener.
Here is a link about the groove.

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