Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Stalking the Wild

The rare and elusive albino redwood

A little over a week ago I got the opportunity to head out into the Santa Lucia Mountains with one of the top experts in the world on confers (gymnosperms). We were out looking for good examples of the Santa Lucia Fir. It is quite possibly the rarest fir in the world, only occurring in a few locations in this mountain range.

On our return, we stopped at a location that I had previously found the rare albino redwood. Often when I tell people about the albino redwoods they are sure I am spinning a story testing their sense of humor or good judgement — or both. I know when I was first told about them I thought my friend was pulling my leg to see just how far he could stretch it.

The 2008 fire killed many of few albino redwood I know of in the range. This particular one had been the largest I had ever come across. What fun to come around the corner of the stream to see creamy white leaves. The tree had burned, but good sized sprouts were coming back — I was filled with delight.

There is something that comes alive when I am out stalking in the wilds. Paying attention, engaged with all of my senses, wandering and in wonder that brings the world to life.

May we all find moments that surprise and delight. Moments when the leaves that we think should be green are white, and suddenly our perspective shifts.



For more on:
Santa Lucia Fir

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