One of the benefits of living in Central California is the proximity to Kings Canyon, Yosemite, and Sequoia National Parks. I have spent many happy days wandering throughout these parks. The General Sherman (274.9’) and the General Grant (268.1’) sequoias are estimated to be between 1,800 and 2,700 years old. When I visited with my girl scout troop, we stood around the trees and stretched our arms to see how many of us it took to circle each tree. I don’t remember the number. I just know it took a lot of us. The Giant Sequoia trees are national treasures and serve to remind us how small we are in the scheme of things.
(US Forest Service photo from Visalia Times Delta)
You may have read about the fierce Rough Fire that has been raging in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The air in the valley has been filled with smoke. Many people have had to evacuate and livestock was let loose when the fire came too close to get them trucked to safety.
Firefighters from all over the country (and even other countries) have come to fight these fires. Articles in the newspaper have described the devastation and the efforts of the firefighters to save the giant trees. So today, I would like to say “thank you” to these brave men and women who risk their lives to save these beautiful sequoias.
The above photo shows firefighter Luis Magana keeping watch over the General Grant Tree which is known as the United State’s national Christmas tree. Here is a link to the Fresno Bee article about the work of the firefighters. (photo taken by Fresno Bee photographer Craig Kohlruss).
I’d like to share a beautiful book about these majestic trees:
Sequoia by Tony Johnston (author) and Wendell Minor (illustrator) is a narrative nonfiction picture book which describes the world from the viewpoint of a giant sequoia tree. Each carefully chosen word evokes the wonder of this tree throughout the seasons of the year. We see the animals that graze nearby and those that live in its branches. It even describes the fires that occur naturally in these groves due to lightening strikes.
The author’s notes tells the history, location, and the threats these trees face.
So this week I celebrate the amazing giant Sequoias and those fighting to save them. I hope and pray they will continue to grow and thrive for generations to come.
(this photo with my dear friends was taken last winter)
This post is linked to Celebrate this Week which was created by Ruth Ayers to remind us that there is always something to celebrate. Visit her blog at Ruth Ayers Writes and see other things worth celebrating.