Saturday, December 06, 2008

Another World

I'm posting here one of the many photographs I took of the giant redwoods in Sequoia National Forest (click for a larger version). If you've never been there, please just go. It's an indescribable feeling to walk among these great, silent giants, the largest living organisms in the world. The oldest of these trees is 2,500 years old.

Older than the Parthenon.

Not so long ago, it was believed the unexplored redwood forest canopy was a kind of desert environment, which makes no sense even to me even as uneducated as I am about these things. Once some brave soul finally shimmied up there, a very different picture emerged. It was one of a whole other world teeming with undiscovered species busily living out their life cycles as many as 38 stories off the ground. This discovery lead to further study and a still growing body of knowledge about these California giants.

Richard Preston, a biologist and expert in such things as the Ebola virus, developed an interest in the redwoods when he began tree climbing as an activity to share with his children. I'm posting below his TED Talk which is a full twenty minutes long, but packed with amazing, thought provoking and fascinating facts about the redwood forest and an alarming (and unreported) environmental situation at the end.

I'm going to run away and join the TED. You should totally come with.
[Edited to add: I've given up trying to embed the video. Follow this link to see it.]


Eagle Eye said...

The picture makes me want to go and sit right down in the middle!!!

Suzanne said...

I highly recommend that, mysterious eagle eye person.