Trees. Big Trees.

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors

I have spent the best part of the last two weeks with a few co-workers identifying hazard trees in campgrounds. We have looked at hundreds of trees and have found signs of disease while wandering through the woods dodging devil’s club and downed giants – climbing over, around, and through the sometimes tangled understory.

While wandering about it is quite interesting to not just look at the trees, since that is what we are doing to look for problems, but to touch and be up close and personal with them. A few Douglas Fir trees that we looked at were massive – over six feet around the trunk and one was nearly 300 feet tall. Think about that for a moment…THREE HUNDRED FEET! That is one big tree. And those are not even as big as the some of the redwoods or giant sequoia.

It makes me think about what the views are from the top of that majestic tree. That has to be incredible. I know that there are people who climb to the top of the redwoods for research and that has to be an amazing thing to do. There are canopy tour companies and I may just have to find one in California and give that a try. (I have another tree-based adventure I am planning on doing this summer. I will post on that only when I actually get to do it.)

It also makes me think about the things these trees have seen in their lifetimes and the challenges they overcame (and keep having to struggle through thanks to humans) to become that big and live that long. They have not been around nearly as long as the bristlecone pines we saw in Colorado, but the bristlecones we saw were nowhere the size of these trees.

It’s just like looking at the stars on a dark summer’s night; it really kind of puts you in your place in the grand scheme of things. We humans are pretty small and insignificant comparatively speaking, yet we can have such devastating effects.

Go out in the woods and take the time to really look around you. It’s pretty amazing what you can find if you just slow down to look, listen, smell, and sometimes even taste.

Perhaps it will awaken something in you as well.

A Few New Interesting Things I Have Seen Lately

Just things, Uncategorized

Yesterday – St. Patrick’s Day – I was working the gate at the trailhead answering questions, giving advice, and pointing out interesting things to visitors. One of the guys in the parking lot had on something I had never seen before and I thought it was actually pretty cool… a cargo kilt. It was a good-looking kilt and it had cargo pockets on both sides. Freedom AND storage all in one handy piece of clothing. It got me to thinking… perhaps I need to get one and give it a try. Except on my motorcycle.

Today I went out to the lighthouse and cleaned up some large pieces of flotsam off the beach. I ended up with a full cargo bed on the Mule, and a full trailer. If I woulda had that cargo kilt I could have gotten a few more things! It was pretty windy, however, so a kilt may have been a bad idea.

The rest of the Volunteers start in a few weeks so we will be gearing up for the visitor onslaught coming our way. It is going to be really busy but I am still looking forward to it. We get upwards of 80-100,000 visitors a year here at the refuge so it will be challenging to say the least. It is fun to talk with people, answer their questions, and be outdoors with other Volunteers. We will resume our monthly beach clean-ups in May, where I take groups of Volunteers and a box of trash bags out on The Spit and drop them off in various places along the way and they walk and pick up everything they see that should not be there. My part of the puzzle is to get them out there, and go back and forth removing the bags and piles of debris, then make sure everyone is accounted for getting them off of The Spit. I did one two weeks after I started and it went very well, and I know more about what I am doing now so it will go even better when we start up.

Here are a few pics I have taken the last few days:

Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan as seen from the New Dungeness Spit - Sequim, WA

Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan as seen from the New Dungeness Spit – Sequim, WA

Banana Slug

Banana Slug

A Walk Through the Woods - Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

A Walk Through the Woods – Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

Lightkeeper's House at the New Dungeness Light Station - Sequim, WA

Lightkeeper’s House at the New Dungeness Light Station – Sequim, WA

Lightkeeper's House as seen from the New Dungeness Light Station - Sequim, WA

Lightkeeper’s House as seen from the New Dungeness Light Station – Sequim, WA

Bald Eagle - Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

Bald Eagle – Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

Bald Eagle - Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

Bald Eagle – Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

Bald Eagle - Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

Bald Eagle – Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

Bald Eagle - Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

Bald Eagle – Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA