One more month to see Sequoia exhibit at the Oakland Museum

SoaringSequoia_1 The Oakland Museum of California goes deep into the forest primeval to reveal the spectacular beauty of the Giant Sequoia, found nowhere on earth but California’s Sierra Nevada.

Future of Sequoias: Sustaining Parklands in the 21st Century (Feb 7–Aug 23, 2009) features photographs by Jeff Jones and prose by retired National Park Interpretative Ranger William C. Tweed, who share a deep respect and concern for the parks that harbor the magnificent trees.

The exhibition includes 24 color prints by Jones, a longtime naturalist who incorporates digital and technical means to create his panoramic images. Using a custom tripod and darkroom expertise, he carefully stitches together multiple exposures for a crisp, evenly lit scene. At the end of the exhibiton, relax in a park cabin and take a 360-degree digital tour of the parks.

Future of Sequoias: Sustaining Parklands in the 21st Century is generously supported by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board.

Photo: Soaring Sequoia ©Jeff Jones

More writings from Three Rivers resident, William Tweed…

61HkPdMk8ML._SL500_AA240_Sequoia and Kings Canyon: The Story Behind the Scenery
This is the realm of the giant sequoias, the largest living things on earth, the magnet that cause these two national parks to be set aside a century ago. From sequoia botany to the geology, history and wildlife of both parks, this book covers it all.

The author, William C. Tweed, is a retired  career professional of the National Park Service, who received his doctorate in history from Texas Christian University. He spent more than 25 years exploring Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Captions are by Malinee Crapsey, who joined the National Park Service in 1985.

You can read the online book Challenge of the Big Trees by Lary M. Dilsaver and William C. Tweed from the National Park Service.

From the forward by William  Penn Mott, JR., former director of the National Park Service, “Challenge of the Big Trees tells of the changes I have seen and more. It is a story of how the dedication and sustained effort of a small group of interested citizens awakened the consciousness of the American people and their government. As a result, the Sierra’s giant sequoias and wonderful high country were saved from selfish destruction. In my lifetime of park work I have witnessed many similar stories; people do make a difference.

The story of Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks is also a fascinating bit of history. The authors detail not only how the parks came to exist, but also how the parks were repeatedly threatened with over-development, and how they were fortunate enough to ward off those threats. Again the critical efforts of a few key persons made all the difference. All too often national park histories tend to end with the creation of the parks. Challenge of the Big Trees avoids this weakness and explores in substantial detail the critical actions that made the two parks what they are today.


Thinking on Social Media and Living the Village Life

Living in a small town can feel a bit out of touch sometimes.  Also, visiting a small town can be a disconcerting experience.  I often have discussions with my bed and breakfast guests, who having arrived here from a very busy urban lifestyle, invariably ask me “What do you do here?”

This is a complex question to answer, as what I do here depends on the moment.  Something I do all through my day is just look at the mountains and the trees that surround my home.  Just a little while ago, I went outside to take the crisp, clean sheets off the clothesline and noticed that the world here was intensely quiet.  No birds chirping, except for one feisty hummingbird in the distance.  The sky was dusky with trailing storm clouds coming down from the high Sierra mountaintops (alas, no actual precipitation here.)  I just stood on the deck, with sheets folded over my arm, and listened to the stillness.

If the temperature of the outside air had not been so warm, I would have brought this laptop outside to do what it is that I do in other moments of my daily life–interact with the social media world of the internet.

Thanks to satellites in the earth’s orbit, which allow for a relatively fast internet connection, and the wonder of the Apple “airport” wireless router which graces both me and my bed and breakfast guests with an invisible connection to the world from a laptop, I am living my village life connected to the rest of the planet.  This blog and a few others are part of this creative exercise.  (And, of course, there is twitter.)

And so I decided to do some online sleuthing to see who else was writing about our little neck of the planetary woods, and found others writing about big trees and hanging out in Sequoia Park.  A search for the words “Sequoia Park” among WordPress blogs alone, showed numerous postings over the last week.

Here are some of the gleanings….

Kaleidospopic Wandering, a blog by freelance writer, Joanna Haugen, tells about how “National Parks have a way of keeping humans’ egos in check. Sometimes it’s the force of a mighty river that would take a person down instantaneously. Occasionally sheer mountain cliffs bring us down to size. There are the large, expansive meadows which go on for miles and miles and miles, reminding us how small we are in grand scheme of nature.”

On her Sierra Nevada Ramblings blog, Zhakie, describes a return visit to the Trail of a Hundrend Giants, “The rewards of taking such a drive are pretty amazing, with huge trees of such immense proportions and deep red color as to take the breath away. No matter how many times I have walked amidst a grove of these giants, their size and beauty still capture my attention and I return over and over again.”

A blogger named Susan, at Nimmo’s Blog-A simple girl with a dream, describes how a visit to see the Giant Sequoias, got her thinking about the world of marketing in a new way, “I’m saying that the mighty sequoia can teach us something about differentiating ourselves in the marketplace. If you’re unique, unlike other trees if you will, you’ll virtually eliminate the competition that competes for the same dollars and attention that you do.”

And conservation biologist, Dr. Reese Halter, writes about the giant trees on his Dr.Reese Blog, “Of 80,000 different kinds of trees on our planet there can only be one king of the race. The Sequoias of the Sierra Nevada’s hold that undisputed title. It is fitting that the largest trees in the world – Sequoias or as they are affectionately called  “Big Trees” – live on the spectacular snowy mountains or backbone of California. On the west side at the elevation of between 6,400 and 7,200 feet above sea level 18 feet of snow fall each year. And incidentally, it’s this snow which sustains most of our 38 million inhabitants, millions of tourists each year and the eighth mightiest economy on the globe.”

The twitter connections…

twitterheader3_bigger @SequoiaNatPark tweeting for the village

sequoria_bigger @SequoiaKingsNPS official twitter site for Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks

Copy_of_DSCN0685_bigger @zhakie Sierra Nevada Ramblings

Reese_Halter_bigger @_DrReese Dr.Reese’s Blog

TKC_bear_bigger @3rnews local newspaper, The Kaweah Commonwealth

twitterbutterflyman_bigger @art_talk voice for the Three Rivers Artists’ Studio Tour

See you on the trails or the satellite waves….. Elsah (a resident of the village of Three Rivers, California, since 1977, who first came here as a child in the 1950’s)

PS……..Do you have a story about living, long-term or short-term, in Three Rivers?

More star-gazing in the summer night skies

Sponsored by the Sequoia Natural History Association…..

Friday, August 14 from 8:30 to 10 pm Join us to watch the Perseid Meteor Showers from the middle of Lake Kaweah near Three Rivers, California. Jupiter will be in opposition which is the best time to view the King Planet and its moons. This is a special floating astronomy trip in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy*. Cost is $20 for adults and childdren. Call 559-561-4251 to reserve a space.

Wednesday, August 19 from 8-9 pm “Splendors in the Night Sky”
Join photographer, Wally Pacholka, on a celestial visual tour of our National Parks via his dazzling night sky images! Learn how he is able to capture his beautiful photographs and ask questions that may aid you in creating your own.  Program will be held at Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park. Tickets are $10/adult and $5/child, available at Wucksachi Lodge or by calling 550-561-4070.

Twin Lakes with the Milky Way and Jupiter
Twin Lakes with the Milky Way and Jupiter
Haleakala Galactic Rainbow Panorama Haleakala Galactic Rainbow Panorama
Haleakala Galactic Rainbow Panorama

Images © Wally Pacholka, prints for sale at
Single exposure photographs, no photoshop used here.

His current project is blazing around the West’s bevy of beautiful national parks
for some late-night sky collaborations with the stars.  When people ask if these images are really, Wally answers, “Just tell them NASA has published 33 of my images which they can see on any search engine.” (use these search terms APOD, Pacholka)

*The International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) is a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture and marks the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei.  The aim of the Year is to stimulate worldwide interest, especially among young people, in astronomy and science under the central theme “The Universe, Yours to Discover”.  IYA2009 events and activities will promote a greater appreciation of the inspirational aspects of astronomy that embody an invaluable shared resource for all nations.


Google is honoring today’s 40 year remembering
of first human feet on moon surface with this image.

Summer cool adventure: discover Crystal Cave

Crystal Cave has been managed by the Sequoia Natural History Association since 1982. In 2003, vandals destroyed hundreds of formations in three caves in Sequoia National Park, including a dozen in the entrance way to Crystal Cave, so now you can only visit the Cave with a guided tour. Tickets are not sold at the cave entrance, but can be purchased in person at the Foothills or Lodgpole visitor centers in Sequoia National Park.

See this link for details: Crystal Cave tours.


Star-gazing this Saturday at Dry Creek Preserve

The Sequoia Riverland Trust is sponsoring a star gazing series at the Dry Creek Preserve on Saturday, July 18, from 8:30-10:30 pm.  Several large telescopes will be on hand, and amateur astronomer Dave Adalian and others from the Tulare Astronomical Association will answer questions on the stars and planets, the constellations, and the universe. For details go to the Trust’s website event link where you will find more details about this particular event. Another stargazing evening is also planned for this Fall on October 24.

The Dry Creek Preserve is located near Lemon Cove. From Visalia, travel east on Highway 198 to Highway 216.  Follow Highway 216 west toward Woodlake one-half mile and turn right (north) on Dry Creek Road. The preserve is located two miles down on your right.

pasture near Dry Creek
pasture near Dry Creek

Goings-On Saturday, July 18

Free Park entrance weekend on July 18 and 19 for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.  The $20 7-day pass fee will also be waived on August 15-16.

Hot Dog Festival sponsored by the Three Rivers Historical Society from 10 am-4 pm at the Three Rivers Historical Museum on HWY 198 in Three Rivers. Offering hot dogs, corn-on-the-cob, and root beer floats for $5 per person. Meet local firefighters. Live music by Mankin Creek. Open to the public. Call 561-2707 for information.  All proceeds benefit the Three Rivers Volunteer Firefighters and Three Rivers Historical Museum.

23nd Annual “Picnic in the Park” sponsored by the Mineral King Preservation Society starting at 12 noon, in the cabin area adjacent to road’s end, Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park. The picnic will include a program by Jana Botkin, Mineral King artist, and a living history presentation starring Mary Trauger, who will discuss the Mineral King mining days. Bring a picnic lunch and folding chair or blanket; lemonade and cookies provided. Free and open to the public (park entrance fee required but this is a free weekend for the Park.)

Foreman cabin 1920s The Foreman cabin in Mineral King circa 1920, to  read more about the history of the cabins go to the “cabin profiles” page at Society’s website.

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