April 11, 2016
Another picture from Lake Quinalt:
This is the World’s Largest Sitka Spruce tree. Neat, huh? So when I was hiking up the trail, I looked for a tall tree. I mean a really tall tree. One that towered over the forest around it. But this, looking across the bridge, was my first view. It didn’t really tower. It’s not too much taller than the trees around it.
But it is bigger. It’s heavy. My favorite thing about it is how the branches droop. They’re heavy, and gravity has been pulling at them for a thousand years. This tree embodies the weight of the world.
It made me think of another famous tree:
This is the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest. That Sherwood Forest. Legend has it this is the tree Robin Hood and his men sheltered in during their exploits. Except, as the guide pointed out, assuming a historical Robin Hood, this tree would have been just a slender new thing at the time. Not this giant. (I took this picture in December ’93, which is why it has no leaves. Not dead, just sleeping.) But one might assume there were huge ancient oaks in the forest during Robin Hood’s time. Ones that had been saplings when the Romans occupied Britain.
This tree is also estimated to be 800 – 1000 years old — roughly the same age as the spruce. Scaffolding has been propping it up for the last hundred. Like the spruce, it’s not tall, but it is big. Heavy. Gravity has thickened it, twisted it. I feel old just looking at it.
These trees are age and time made visible, tangible. I love it.