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G. Donald Bain

Camping in the Tall Trees

G. Donald Bain

Mother of the Forest

North Grove at Calaveras Big Trees State Park, near Arnold, California, USA

June 14, 2012 9 am

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© 2012 G. Donald Bain, All Rights Reserved.

Caption

This is a sad commentary on the lack of environmental sensitivity of the last century. The North Grove at Calaveras Big Trees was the first widely publicized grove of Sequoiadendron giganteum - the largest trees on earth. It was discovered in 1862 and the fame of the trees spread across the country and around the world.

So what use was made of the grove - a park perhaps? No, this was the century of P.T Barnum. The first large tree at the edge of the grove was promptly cut down and its stump made into a dance floor, and its fallen log into a bowling alley.

Even worse, a few years later, the largest and finest tree in the grove was stripped of its bark for a hundred feet up, and the hollow bark-tree shipped to Chicago for exhibition (where it was regarded as a fake).

This tree, known as the Mother of the Forest, stripped and left for dead, slowly died, and eventually burned. But the massive trunk still stands, a sad reminder of the majesty of the living tree.

One reputable source indicates the tree was originally 31 feet (9.5 meters) in diameter and over 300 feet (91 meters) tall, which would have made it one of the largest in the world.

The trees here have been protected in a state park since 1931.
More panoramas of the Calaveras Big Trees North Grove in the Lake Tahoe and the Northern Sierra Nevada region of my website.

Don Bain's 360° Panoramas

Location

USA-Canada / USA-California

Lat: 38° 16' 50.22" N
Long: 120° 18' 0.68" W

Elevation: 4776 feet (1456 meters)

→ maps.google.com [EXT]

Precision is: Unknown / Undeclared.

OpenStreetMap: © OpenStreetMap contributors

Equipment

Photographed with a Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR with a 15mm Canon fisheye lens, on a Nodal Ninja VR mount, Really Right Stuff ballhead, and Gitzo carbon-fiber tripod. Stitched with PTGui Pro 9 on a Macintosh Intel Core 2 Duo iMac, retouched with Photoshop CS3.
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