July 07, 2009

redwoods at Muir Woods

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

A significant portion of San Francisco visitors end up on a little side-trip on the "other" side of the Golden Gate Bridge to visit and commune wth the tall Redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument.

In fact, so many people want to visit that they need to be shuttle-bussed in from nearby Mill Valley on weekends.   Arrive in an automobile any later than 10AM even on weekdays and you probably are going to have some difficulty finding parking.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Redwood trees, although massive, have relatively shallow root systems.   After many hundreds of years they tend to finally topple over, returning their nutrients to the soil while providing a home to a wide variety of bugs and critters.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Moss is common in the moist environment.   The ocean isn't far away -- thick and moody fog tends to lurk at Muir Woods when other areas farther inland are sunny.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Don't know if you can tell, but that's bubbling Redwood Creek in the background.   Before becoming a National Monument in 1908 a dam and reservoir was being planned for the area.

William Kent was a prominent businessman, outdoorsman and community leader who later served in Congress, where he sponsored legislation that created the National Park Service in 1916.

Kent and his wife, Elizabeth, acquired this redwood filled canyon in 1905, in order to protect it as a natural area.   Two years later the North Coast Water Company tried to obtain title to the grove by eminent domain, hoping to build a dam and reservoir.   To stop this maneuver, the Kents offered to give the area to the Federal Government if the President would use the Antiquities Act to protect it as a national monument.   Mr. and Mrs. Kent proposed that the site be named in honor of their friend, naturalist and writer John Muir.

Gifford Pinchot, the first director of the U.S. Forest Service recommended Kent's proposal to President Roosevelt, who enthusiastically signed an executive order creating the national monument on January 9, 1908.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

If anybody knows the name of this plant, please let me know, but to me it sort of looks like an Oriental Lilly, or maybe even some sort of Fuschia.   But I would expect that it's native to the area, growing here close to Redwood Creek just outside the back-limits of the monument where less people travel.

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Anonymous said...

HI Don. beautiful pictures. I went to Adeline E. Kent elementary school and jr high. I think it's a middles school now. Who was she? bonnye

AphotoAday said...

HI BONNYE -- Wish I had a better way to get this message to you (oh Ms Anonymous) but I keep trying to tell you that my grandmother lived on Terrace Avenue in Kentfield, probably very close to where you grew up. Did a Mrs. Anderson ever baby-sit you? She could have, because she was a very popular (and strict) baby sitter in the area -- she charged 50 cents an hour regardless of how many rugrats the mothers dropped off...

You're asking ME who Adeline E. Kent was? Heck, I don't know -- other than she had a lot of money and Kentfeld was named after her family. Actually, I have a wonderful book on Marin County History written by Barry Spitz (who also does the Mt. Tam Trail Guide). Maybe I should go look it up.

Ashley said...

Great photos! I especially love the flower picture. Muir woods is beautiful!

photowannabe said...

Another Ahhh picture for me. There is something about the redwoods that just settles me.
I'm so glad that Muir Woods was preserved for all to enjoy. I didn't realize that there was a shuttle now. Very interesting.

Marcie said...

Beautiful photos of the trees and the woods. Love the 'feature' image..the maze of patio tile.

Louise said...

Beautiful photos, but that lily is exquisite! (No idea of the name. I'm sure I've never seen one just like it. I appears smaller than most lilies I've seen.)

Anonymous said...

no i'm sorry i didn't know mrs anderson. my parents used the hippie kids to babysit when they went out. i post anon because i don't have a blog and i can't figure the choose an identity thing out. bluebonnye1961@yahoo.com

Jane said...

Donald, you have such a range. Your architecture shots are great, your nature is great. This lily is fascinating. There are only a few natives in California. Humboldt Tiger Lily, Sierra Tiger Lily (unlikely), couple others. I love the framing.

Jane said...

Forget to mention how awesome the fern frond is. An embarrassment of riches...

Tomate Farcie said...

I didn't know they have a shuttle from MV. Makes sense. Parking is, indeed, impossible if you come too late in the morning.

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