I recently spent a day in the redwoods, a Cabrillo College extension course led by Sandy Lydon. The afternoon of that day, our group went on ziplines into the canopy at Mount Hermon. While this was a beautiful and challenging experience, I was left somewhat unsatisfied because I was hoping for a real old growth canopy experience, rather than a thrilling ride just below the canopy through mostly younger trees.
However, I just finished reading The Wild Trees by Richard Preston. After reading this amazing book about the exploration of the tallest trees in the world, I realize I’ll never climb into their canopies in person. But the book is the next best thing. I’d read a little about the other plants that grow in the tops of the trees when I read Operation Redwood (I wrote about it in a previous blog). But I had no idea! There are gardens of ferns, huckleberries, lichens and mosses, and bonsai trees growing up there. There can be so many trunks you can get lost. Salamanders and other creatures spend their whole lives and reproduce up there, over 300 feet above the ground. It’s a fascinating read.