Forest Redwoods

Mystery Coast Redwood #12

Trap Doors, Cliffs, Horse Flies and Mosquitoes

Continued from: Coast Redwoods Main Page

Copyright 2017 by Mario Vaden


That's Chris standing there in front of the huge redwood with his measuring gear off to the side. I look at this image and remember several challenges to find, explore or measure these enormous coast redwoods. This area was close to a small cliff, one of several small cliffs in Redwood National and State Parks. There are no maps suggesting where those are, so it's not smart to walk too fast if the ferns are tall in some places.

The most uncomfortable situation we encountered were insects that I would call horseflies. They looked like flies and hurt with could be described as biting. I have seen mosquitoes many times in the redwood forest, but this was the only time I ever dealt with this kind of fly. We were perched high on a log so Chris could aim and measure a redwood top, and the sun was shining toward his laser. He needed me to hold his clipboard to shade the laser, but the wind was blowing so he had to wait for the redwood top to quit swaying. That left both of us frozen in position for several straight minutes taking continual biting. Finally the wind stopped and Chris nailed his laser measurement. There were no mosquitoes around here, but those are not hard to contend with. I usually carry repellent in my vehicle and usually know right away or within minutes if those insects are a nuisance.

In the same vicinity, needles and twigs formed a trap door covering a hollow in the earth next to a redwood on it's upslope side. Chris stepped and almost fell through as one leg dropped in. The hollow went all the way under like a chute to the creek on the other side. Fortunately he caught hold and ferns and pulled himself back out.


Image: I don't recall ever sharing this image before, prior to 2017. Single stem with small semi-basal sprout in the center. The far left and right sides are the same main trunk.


Giant Coast redwood at base of ridge