I am feeling like I did not pay the proper respect to General Sherman and his army of giant trees, so I would like to spend a little more time discussing this area in greater detail. This comes with a good dose of patience on my part, because I am very excited to start writing about my experience at the photography workshop in the auto junkyard. This is personally significant in so many ways since I tend to be the kind of person who, when asked what the Make and Model of a car is, will respond with a color, such as "Well, I know that it's green" and maybe an additional "and it has 4 doors". So the fact that I spent 3 nights in a junkyard photographing classic cars, it's pretty much polar opposite of what I normally gravitate to in photography or life in general. Anyway, back to General Sherman.
First of all, the "web quality" of those images was pretty sub-par, so let's put up something much better. I want you to be able to read this sign:
Let's break it into smaller parts, so I can be sure it is readable:
I did not go see General Grant although I started out in King's Canyon National Park. I was practically right next to it, but I spent too much time talking to the postman and in the gift shop buying stuff that said "General Sherman" so I decided to head south and make my way back to see General Grant on the return and I ended up running out of time and, most importantly, daylight.
So there you have it. The General Sherman tree is 275 feet tall. If you are 5 or 6 feet tall, the General has another 269 to 270 on you. The tree is so tall that it is almost impossible to see the top of it through the lower branches.
It is 2,200 years old. If you are 50 or 60 and think you are old, the General has 2,150 or 2,140 on you. Don't talk about how old you are feeling in front of the General. On the other hand, it is a good place to go and feel young!
If you are feeling heavy, he's got you on that one too. Coming in at a whopping 1,385 tons. If this tree falls in the forest, it is going to be heard. Apparently a branch did fall off of it, but the event was unwitnessed by human beings.
Here is a photo of part of the "footprint" referenced in the text.
I hope you have enjoyed this visit and that you will return next week for a preview of the classic car show. Happy Spring!
There is something about seeing the biggest tree in the world that has to be experienced in person to be fully comprehended. One can read about it and hear about it and maybe even look at some pictures of it to get a vague idea of what it means. If you ever get a chance to see one for yourself, it is a very worthwhile trip to make. It is when you are approaching and finally standing next to it that you can appreciate the authority it commands and the significance it represents. General Sherman is the biggest tree in the world by mass.
If you want to see them with your own eyes, consider a trip to King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks in California. Summer time is peak for travel so an off-season trip will find smaller crowds. Many of these roads are closed in the winter, so travel by car might be impossible if you go then. In fact, the road between the two parks had just opened the week before I got there in early April. It's for a good reason, you would not want to be traveling down these curvy and sometimes sheer dropoff, mountain-hugging roads when they are covered in ice and snow.
There are other award winning trees in this area (tallest, widest, etc.) and many of them are over 2,000 years old. They have seen a lot in their day. These trees are The Boss!
I made it safely to my workshop destination. The little plane was no problem and it turned out to be one of the smoothest flights I've ever had. Just for the record, there were at least two "saloons" in the Utah airport.
Their services were not needed for this passenger who was flying on self-assurance.
It helped that I had to engage full-scale overprotectiveness with my camera gear when they tried to stow it in the cargo hold, telling me as I boarded that the plane was too small for my large carry-on bag. I got lucky and they said I could try to get it on. The lady sitting next to me, who was a double for Susan Sarandon, was not very happy about me wedging it under the seat in front of me, but let's just say that everybody survived. She did not bother saying goodbye to me at the end of the flight, despite my explaining that it was all camera gear and if it were clothing I would have been more than happy to put it under the plane. We went our separate ways. But we (my camera gear and I) made it safely and we're ready to start working.
[Note to non-photographers: do not try to get between a photographer and their stuff. Do not suggest you stow it in trunk or on the roof rack for a trip, unless you want to intentionally rile them up.]
During both flights I used a little point-and-shoot to look for aerial compositions. I had a lot of fun doing it. I thought about getting out the "good" camera, but airplane windows are usually so scratched up (here's another addition to the bizarre list of life questions: what scratches an airplane window? the air? imaginary tree branches? microscopic bugs with sharp feet skating along upon the ice skating rink of airplane windows?) that it is difficult to get great images anyway. Even if the window was wide open, there is usually a layer of something (pollution? clouds? haze?) that make it hard to get crystal clear shots. These are more for fun than anything else.
Today I'm off to see the giant sequoia forest. So I'd better get going. This is my only free day before the workshop starts.
Thanks for visiting and I hope you are enjoying the warmer weather and longer days!
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.