Our Visit to Sequoia National Park

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

~ Joyce Kilmer

The first of many hugs given during our visit to Sequoia, NP.

Every since I was a little girl I can recall being enamored with the magnificent Sequoia trees, so imagine my sheer delight when at last I was able to see these beauties in person!! My first glimpse at a Sequoia was a couple of weeks ago, on Sunday afternoon, after leaving San Diego earlier that morning. I must admit that my eyes filled with tears, as I was filled with a complete sense of wonder and amazement when gazing at the first stand of the giant Sequoia trees!! They were more amazing than I could have ever imagined and didn’t look real at all.

Wes and me with the magnificent General Sherman.

Personally, I couldn’t wait to get out of the car a give a great big hug to one of these amazing trees. being a tree-hugger, this was certainly the ultimate tree hugging experience! We were impressed with the thickness of the bark and how it had a cork like texture and springiness to it. This wonderful, thick bark is what protects them from the occasional forest fires, keeping them alive and well and making them the matriarchs of the forest. Every grove we visited was just as amazing as the previous and I never tired of gently touching these ancient wonders. If only they could  talk, oh the stories they would tell! One tree is over 3,200 years old, and could certainly captivate one with its great stories of the past.

Me in another grove of the beloved trees.
Wes and me with two more of the ancient beauties.

We enjoyed several picnic meals while in the park and one in particular proved to be quite entertaining. For the first time, we actually found a picnic area and decided to enjoy sitting out at a table, so we carried out our food and commenced to making our peanut butter and raisin sandwiches. We noticed the oriental family beside us began quickly grabbing up their food and started running to their car. Wondering what in the world the matter was, we began looking around when suddenly Wes saw that a mother Black Bear and her two cubs were coming our way. As you can imagine we too quickly started grabbing up our stuff and heading for the car. I turned in time to notice that in our haste we had left a bag on the table and I told Wes he had to go get it! So he honked the horn a couple of times as they were quickly approaching, and then ran got the bag and returned to the car. After looking at one another, letting out a quiet whew . . . and quickly finishing our lunch in the safety of the car, we then proceeded to get several great photos that should result in a miniature painting or two in the future.

Our lunchtime visitors.
Wes photographs the bear family at lunch.

We left the wondrous canopy of the trees and headed to King’s Canyon to see the amazing vistas that awaited us there. Unfortunately, we were there just at the right time to be involved in the much needed, but major road construction that is taking place in Sequoia at present. This meant we were held up several times as it was down to one lane in areas. The other unfortunate event was the forest fires that were burning in part of the King’s Canyon area. This obviously didn’t enhance the views of this great park. But having learned to make lemonade when life hands you lemons, we decided to see it all while we were there and got some interesting photos of the fires.

One of the many gorgeous views in King's Canyon.
Part of the forest fire that was burning near a stream.

That evening on our way out, we enjoyed a lovely drive through a gorgeous area that has to be one of the prettiest cow pastures on earth! I decided if one was a cow that would be a great place to live. On the winding one lane road, we were treated to the sights of several different coveys of Quail and at one point had to stop to let a Tarantula cross the road! How cool was that . . . very cool I thought, and had to get out of the car to see up close this amazing arachnid in its natural setting!

A gorgeous view of the Dry Creek Preserve.
A Tarantula shows us why the spider crossed the road.

We happily added several new bird species to our bird list while we were there, including:
Oregon Junco, Spruce Grouse, Mountain Quail, White-headed Woodpecker and Ferruginous Hawk.

The beautiful Mountain Quail along the drive leaving King's Canyon.

Next week I’ll share photos and highlights from our two days spent in Yosemite as well as new miniature paintings.
Until next time ~ Rachelle   🙂

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