Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! To celebrate, I offer up once again a very big Christmas tree, the General Grant Tree in Kings Canyon National Park. The tree is so large (268 feet high, 40 feet across at the base) that it took three pictures for me to capture it. The Giant Sequoia trees have an ancient lineage that extends back to the era of the dinosaurs. They once grew across the northern hemisphere, but climate change and ice ages conspired to eliminate them from their former range except for a few dozen groves in the western Sierra Nevada. They can live for several thousand years, and few things can kill them, their main enemies being crown fires (ground fires don't hurt them generally) and the lumberman's saw.

The General Grant tree was declared by Calvin Coolidge in 1926 to be the nation's Christmas Tree. At an early ceremony, park superintendent Colonel John White said ""We are gathered here around a tree that is worthy of representing the spirit of America on Christmas Day. That spirit is best expressed in the plain things of life, the love of the family circle, the simple life of the out-of-doors. The tree is a pillar that is a testimony that things of the spirit transcend those of the flesh."

I hope that you all have a wonderful and safe holiday.

Oh, if you think Christmas trees should be decorated, I don't have one of the Grant Tree all dressed up for the holiday, but here is a nicely flocked Sequoia tree from a different trip...


Gaelyn said...

Beyond spectacular! Sure glad they didn't chop it down and take it to DC.

Merry Christmas!

Marine Sedimentology said...

Merry Christmas!