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a personal collection of original music, photographs, observations and other random stuff that happens inside my head…

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Trees

I willingly confess to so great a partiality for trees
as tempts me to respect a man in exact proportion to his respect for them.
~ James Russell Lowell 

Trees

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Posted August 7th, 2011.

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Six Rivers National Park, Northern California

These images were taken along Hwy 199, which stretches from Crescent City, CA to Grant’s Pass, OR.  It is some of the most breathtaking land  I’ve ever seen.  The water and the land contain high levels of Serpentine, which is a mineral that is strikingly gray-green in color.  High quality Serpentine is sometimes used to replicate jade in jewelry and art pieces – it is no wonder that the rivers that cut through the gorges here boast a deep jade-like hue.  Although the river runs hundreds of feet down steep gorges that are heavily shaded, at times the sun would find its way down the cliffs, turning the eddies into surreal-looking emerald-colored pools.

Highway 199 is mostly a narrow, two-lane, intensely winding stretch of road that cuts through a portion of the Six Rivers National Park.  While it’s challenging to drive, it’s even more challenging to keep your eyes on the road, as there’s so much to look at.  Thankfully, there are lots of places to pull off the road and explore.  One of the most fantastic and completely unexpected finds we made was a botanical trail that we initially thought would be a manzanita forest.  What we discovered was a Cobra Lily bog.  Otherwise known as “Darlingtonia californica”, the California Pitcher Plant (or Cobra Lily) grows in the middle of an otherwise “normal” looking forest.  Hundreds of stalks grow off of one main parent plant, and, each of the stalks looks exactly like a cobra ready to strike.  Each new “pitcher” twists itself in such a way while it’s growing that its final adult position directs its “hood” away from all the others, guaranteeing maximum insect-catching potential.

I could have spent a month on this one stretch of road…  maybe one day I will do just that.

Posted April 1st, 2011.

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