Friday, June 20, 2014
At Home With The Redwoods
Redwood Highway ( parallel to the coast)
But Redwood National and State Parks is not all about the redwoods, despite the main attraction of course are these ancient tall trees. Right next to the redwood forest is the Pacific Ocean, and there is an amazing diversity of life that exists here.
Wildflowers Along Del Norte Coast, Redwood National Park
The diverse ecosystem here is recognized as both a World Heritage site and an International Biosphere Reserve. These designations reflects worldwide awareness of the parks' resources as irreplaceable, and as such they must be safeguarded. One may complain that the ocean here seldom reflects the blue color from the sky. Especially during the summer, the ocean here is as gray as it can be. The greyness is due to the dense coastal fogs.
The ocean breeze and the dense coastal fog moderates the temperature here in the coast, cooling the surroundings and providing the necessary moisture. During the summer, where there is hardly no rain, fogs provide the precipitation needed so that redwoods continue to survive. Year round, fogs account for about 40% of the redwoods' moisture intake. Understanding that the presence of these fogs allow the coast redwoods to continue to thrive in only this part of the Earth, I really can't complain why in the 2 days of our stay in the park, we did not see as much blue.
But then, as much as there is beauty in blue, there is also a subtle beauty in gray. And if we take a closer look, despite the grayness of the surrounding, a lot of wildlife can be observed. At home with the redwoods, is an enormous variety of bird species, tidepool creatures, sea life and other creatures that dwell in the differing environments provided by the ocean. Redwood National and State Parks' website lists a lot of ocean wildlife that can be observed by visitors, and here are some of the ocean's wildlife we got to experience while we were there.
Ochre Sea Star with kelp
Giant Green Anemone
More Sea Stars
And I spotted this turkey vulture perched on top of a lamp post while we were tidepooling. Because of the misty air and the far distance, the picture quality is not that good, but nevertheless, excited to see this bird aside from the sea gulls on the shore :)
And next to the coast is a prairie, where we saw some Roosevelt Elks and stellar jay.
Elks Grazing on the Prairie
For a complete list of wildlife diversity in Redwood National and State Parks, please visit their site here. They are at home with the coast redwoods in this diverse forest that sits right next to the Pacific Ocean.
Next, I will feature Fern Canyon, still within the boundaries of Redwood National and State Parks, where some scenes from the Jurassic Park: The Lost World were filmed.