, sent to me, in a plastic cigar box
, handwritten on yellow legal pad
paper, along with other notes and various bits and pieces…circa 1982... by my dad. We shared a great love of nature and an affinity for collecting odd things. He lived in California at the time, I lived in Maryland. We connected through the mail. It sort of reminds me of the connections in this place
Again – this one is a long story – but I was fascinated by the “Giant Sequoia
Trees”. They deserve a lengthy description.
We took a nice 10 day automobile trip vacation through Northern California
this summer. It was great. I’ll tell you about that in another letter – This is about the Sequoia National Park
and the Giant Sequoia tree
s. The California Redwood
s are taller and prettier shaped than the Sequoia, and I understand the “Tule Cypress tree
s" in Oaxaca Mexico
are larger in girth. As a comparison here’s a sketch
*picture a 4x10 inch ink drawing of 3 trees with a
graph showing height in 50 foot increments 50’ to 350'.
Each trunk is marked by arrows illustrating the
girth. The California Redwood on the R is 350’ by 25'.
In the middle, the California Sequoia is 267’by 36’
and to the far left is a Mexican Tule Cypress
at 125’ by 50’*
So you see the California Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world, and the Mexican Tule Cypress is got the biggest girth. But the California Sequoias are the biggest living thing in the World. And the grand champion of all the Sequoias is the “General Sherman
” tree. It is 275’ high and has a basal diameter
of 36’. The “General Sherman” tree has a total trunk volume of over 50,000 cubic feet. The great girth of the Sequoia gives it a clear edge over the Coastal Redwood
s in bulk.
You really appreciate the size of these Giant trees when you get up close to them. They only grow in a few very select regions
of the High Sierra Mountains
. It has something to do with the snow depths, temperature and winds.
Anyway it’s not as pretty as the redwoods but they are the champs. The biggest, and almost 3000 years old. They were a thousand years old when Christ
Well you know damn well
I was going to gather a few souvenir
s. It was against the Park rules – not to take anything – but I filled up my shirt with twigs and cones from the “General Sherman” tree. I figured if I was caught it might as well be from the biggest daddy of them all.
Now look at those cone
s – They came from the largest of all living things – and can you imagine a cone this small from the “General Sherman”. Nature
operates in many strange ways.
I’ve got more of the cones and twigs. I’m going to encase them in a plastic type resin, and hang them on a gold or silver chain for all the women in the immediate Menendez family. I also plan to cut the twigs cross-wise
*picture another ink sketch here of a twig with a
diagonal slice cut through the center and the
word “Thus” pointing to the slice*
and polish the wood – then immerse the pieces in a plastic high gloss resin for making more decorative chains. The grain of the wood (rings) will show up nicely. These will bring you all great strength of purpose and long life.
The green moss
is from the smaller pine tree
s around the Sequoias. For some reason the moss
does not grow on the Sequoias.
Hope you enjoy this little bit of nature
All of Manuel Menendez’s writings and notes are copyrighted and owned by his estate, of which I am a member. Full permission has been received to publish them here on e2.
More about or by Manuel Menendez can be found in
A long term project
"Typos" are intentionally entered as written in the original.