Friday, 13 August 2010

The Trees of San Francisco

I have a passion for trees - if you've read Wildwood you'll know that. In fact I spent three years doing forestry at college.  So when I went to California I took a bunch of tree photos ... But since these are US species, I could do with help identifying them. Anyone?

This species is used as a street tree all over downtown San Francisco. I love the pale bark and simple bifurcating branches and the dense Dr Seuss canopies- but what the heck are they?

Now this is Angel's Trumpet - powerfully hallucinogenic but, as they say, "it's called that because if you take the wrong dose, that's the next thing you'll be hearing."

And I adore this- it's a Pacific Madrone, which is a type of Strawberry Tree. I don't think they'd grow in the UK, 'cos it's too cold. The bark is a wonderful blushing red.

Talking of which, here are some of the wonderful Coastal Redwoods at Muir Woods. It's one of the last remnant stands of old-growth redwood forest in California.

For the conspiracy buffs among you, here I am in the original Bohemian Grove (or one of the originals,anyway) which is located in Muir Woods. Alas, I am not part of some creepy all-powerful all-male cabal that runs the world.

If I was, there would be a lot more trees and more sex about.
I like wood ;-)


Jo said...

I loved Muir Woods so much. So sad there's not more of the trees left. My cousin went to college in Northern California in the middle of all the redwoods.

When we were in Muir woods, a chipmonk stole a finger of Twix from the pack - I exhorted my husband to grab it back before it killed itself, and a giant obese man said 'it won't die, it'll just get REAL FAT.'

N reached out to get teh chocolate back, and the chipmonk held on with alarming strength for a moment. It was a funny little experience :)

Janine Ashbless said...

Oh, you guys would get into SUCH trouble for feeding the wildlife there!

I think it's the first time I've seen a chipmunck in real life: they are cute little beggers! There are stripey squirrels in northern India that look similar too.

Jo said...

Did you see the tiny weenie little brown wrens flitting round like clouds of fairies?

Janine Ashbless said...

Aw... no I didn't. Damn!
In winter there are supposed to be huge colonies of ladybirds too.

Craig Sorensen said...

The giant redwoods are magnificent, aren't they?

I think the pale tree you saw in downtown SF might be a form of eucalyptus, but bear in mind, I'm no expert on trees.

Looks like you had a great time in California!