Puslapio vaizdai

conditions under which the redwood forest ex- redwood in perfection. In such places there ists are clearly revealed; narrow cañons run are often rings of great trees inclosing pits seaward and meet others, until great winding five or six feet deep, and thirty, forty, or even mountain basins are formed, and in these are fifty feet in diameter. Each of these pits is supthe centers of the lumbering industry. Islands posed to show where the venerable ancestor of of mountain rise out of the forest, the largest the surrounding circle of trees once stood. of them nearly two thousand feet high, but the Long before it fell

, innumerable sprouts grew general level of the oak ridges that cross and from the yet living roots. Afterward, when the divide the “land of the redwood" into groups giant yielded, the rains washed new soil into of forests is hardly twelve hundred feet. Dark the “bottoms” from the mountain-sides, to fill green, misty with the smoke of fires, is the pre- the deep chasm. For a century or so there was vailing color of the dense redwoods, but the a struggle among the children of the fallen whole expanse of broken country is spotted monarch, and at last only seven or eight rewith broad seas of old gold — they are hilltops mained, to become great trees of twelve feet in and slopes of ripe grass, although it is hard- diameter set on the rim of the pit formed by ly midsummer. Here are the scattered pas- the decay of the roots of the ancient tree, and tures of the Coast Range; they descend far each having a complete root system of its own. down into the redwoods, but near the edges Other trees, seedlings or sprouts, grow up beof the oaks they cluster and increase toward tween them, and in a few more centuries the prothe eastern horizon until they grow to be the cess of forming another redwood-tree ring will broadest and most luminous slopes of color be repeated about the largest of the second

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imaginable, rising about the shoulders of the growth. Rings of this sort can be found in all greater mountains, and descending in long ex- stages of formation in every cañon and valley panses far inland to such warm valleys as Santa of the redwood country. Some very large rings Rosa and Sonoma. Even there, forty miles still show the broken edges of the central tree's from the forests, a solitary redwood sometimes roots projecting like the staves of a barrel around appears, the notable tree of a whole township. the hollow,overgrown with ferns and wild oxalis,

On the camping-grounds of the Bohemian or filled to the brim with fresh, spicy redwood Club on Austin Creek, and in the Armstrong sprouts. The green spires of the living forest, tract near Guerneville, one finds the lowland three hundred feet high, filter the air through

young oaks


The large evergreen leaves sometimes grow in whorls, almost like a Norfolk Island pine, and the light is reflected in so many ways from the smooth stems that an artist would find as many fleshtints as in a garden of girls; each separate stem is worth study. The bark is smooth, with a soft texture finer than a

kid glove, and glowWhite

ing as if it held a difflot dark leaf

ferent sort of life
from that of the

stand a little apart.
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hamadryad in the their innumerable branches, and shut out all but madroño, none are left in earthly forests. faint blue sparkles of the sky. The dust of one Apart from the thickets, comparatively few of the pioneers is underfoot, and a little tree single madroños are seen. In fact, some disof last year's growth is struggling to gain a tricts contain only dwarfed and shrub-like place. The red-bronze trunks of the trees stand madroños, but in other places there are great like a wall, hiding the rise of the mountains, trees from eighty to one hundred feet high hiding the banks of the river, though one hears that more than fulfil the shy promise of the the sound of its flow, and the splash of little slender shining stems of the madroño thickets. trout streams in the cañons. Such groves as There are not many such trees, and no photothis are the temples of the California forest graph can serve to illustrate their magnificence. system.

One in Sonoma County stands on a cliff, - an In the Coast Range, belonging somewhat to old tree, deeply scarred by fire. It is as picthe redwood belt, and somewhat to the oak turesque as an olive or a cypress, with the openings, but not wholly to either, is a tree added expression of color so varied and comthat is dear to the heart of poet, artist, and prehensive that artists come from the valley nature-lover. It is an arbutus, by family rights, below and make studies of it against the blue but it is a glorified arbutus that rivals the sky or the dark cliff. The old bark is rough, Magnolia grandiflora, or any other tree of the with very striking red-brown knots and bosses continent. Many a writer and many a famous like dark armor, among which are perfectly botanist have tried to make those who have smooth golden or olive-green or almost scarnever seen a madroño understand its grace let patches of shining, exquisite color. Every and color, but it remains the despair of sylvan month of the year one who studies such a tree description. The madroño fully compensates will discover changes; every madroño in the California for the absence of the lovely white- mountains has its especial and separate tints birch stems, and of the scarlet sumac in au- of color, its own peculiar charm of manner, its tumn. Its flowers are insignificant, but its noteworthy combination of the more mature berries outshine the holly, and are infinitely bark with the fresh, changeable, and transpamore striking, while the glory of its bright rent covering that is like the skin of a child. green leaves is a constant joy. The young The very oldest madroño in California is griz. madroños grow in thickets like young moun- zled only about the trunk; even the large tain maples, and have long, straight, shining branches keep the young look, and each little stems, no two alike in color, but ranging in twig is as fresh as if it belonged to a madroño the same thicket from light green almost to thicket. For a space below the beautiful crowns yellow, and from yellow to brownish red and of leaves, as large and nearly as dark as the rose-tinted purple. Nothing else that I have leaves of Magnolia grandiflora, the new wood ever seen in the forest is quite so fresh, so clean, is light, clear-hued green, yellowing downand so richly tinted as a madroño thicket. ward. Then comes that rich, firm scarlet, so

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brilliant that one could easily believe the say- makes a wonderful display. From December ing of an old Sonoma pioneer, that when he to April, according to the locality and the seawas out late on the mountain he “had to see son, one can find bushes on the hillside raining his way by the mathrone stems; they kep' the down an inch-thick carpet of blossoms, day light an hour longer than anything else.” As after day, and still clothed in fragrance and the new bark grows on the madroño, flakes of beauty so charming that even the old residents the old fall to the ground and lie there in crisp, of the manzanita region speak of the time of dainty piles of brightness.

its blossoming as the prime of the California Another of the beautiful heaths, to which the spring. The stages of the mining counties stop arbutus, the leucothoës, the rhododendron, and for passengers to break off branches, and many other striking shrubs and trees belong, groups of campers use the manzanita when in is the manzanita. One species, the uva-ursi, bloom for the decoration of tents and tables. or bearberry, extends around the world, but The gorgeous flame-hued eschscholtzia has nearly all are Californian, nine or ten species been chosen for the State flower, for it belongs being peculiar to this State. They are shrubs everywhere, and illuminates valley and hillside or small trees, with smooth bark ranging in alike, but nothing among the distinctive plants color from that of the madroño to a rich and of California takes precedence of the dainty dark-red purple. The thick oval leaves and manzanita. More brilliant in their seasons of the clusters of fragrant white or rose-colored bloom are the two rhododendrons that make urn-shaped flowers add to the attractiveness huge masses of color beside mountain springs, of the manzanita. Its crooked stems are be- and the lilac-like thickets of ceanothuses in the ginning to be known in the cane-shops, and the shady redwoods; but none of these have the knots and roots have many ornamental uses. delicate hue and the rare fragrance that make Thousands of acres of manzanita thicket have the manzanita unique among shrubs. been cleared to plant vineyard and orchard; In all the mountain cañons are broad-leaved the dainty little tree seems to occupy some of maples, which grow in copses that are worthy

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the choicest fruit-lands of California. It is as of a painter's pencil. The same species of wild and shy as a quail, and the gardeners find maple is found in the valleys, but there it is that it will not bear removal to the lowlands. large and stately, with dark-brown trunks and The other shrubs of the region can be trans- rounded tops; in the foot-hills it has the most planted, grown from seeds or from cuttings, lovely bark of white and gray, rivaling in grace but every effort to make the manzanita a deni- and softness of outline the white birch of New zen of the gardens has come to grief, even in England. One is tempted to name it the Calithe mountains. At the season of bloom it fornia birch-maple, so striking is the effect of the shining stems of a hundred or more maples growing at the head of a gulch between pines and madroños. The buckere has something of the same gray-andwhite mottling, and so have several of the puks. There is a little tree, something like a cottonwood, that grows in the Sierras, which has a soft and shining bark of creamy white, flecked with brown spots. This tree, hardly less than the maple of the Coast Range cañons, reminds one of the white birch,


(ne hardly knows where to begin with an account of the numerous California auks that form the most distinctive feature of the valleys of the State. As far as ap

3 pearance goes, there are no finer oaks in in world, but their timber, except that of a few species, is not yet considered ulmush economic value. Professor EdWCncone of the University of California, oaks of the Atlantic slope. In growth and genin un monograph on the subject, illustrates eral appearance the oak groves of England are atcelt latenty-tive distinct species of “West closely reproduced in California. Experience Amhall (ah," and describes several varie- shows that the European species of oak grows How lesser importance. There are not only easily and rapidly in California, while the comlute puths, and some of the finest species mon oaks of the Atlantic slope grow but poorly. hould among all the three hundred oaks of One or two species of western "water-oaks When wurde, bout do black oaks, both decidu- seem to suit the Pacific coast, but even these

and energreen, and a species of oak that do not thrive as well as the English oak.

mms much of a chestnut as it is an oak. When American pioneers came into unfenced Ihrschung seems to the botanist worth men- California, oak forests almost filled the valleys. 1111m, mind that is the curious fact that typical The trees were not crowded; they seemed Hlavne ul to Calitornia oaks are very much planted in vast park-like landscapes for miles. Willy lehen they waths of Europe than like the Up the Coast Range one could literally ride



from San Diego to the edge of the redwood them over long, open slopes of wild oats, country without ever being a mile from groups thick-sown with larkspurs and eschscholtzias; of gigantic oaks. In the same way, the whole beyond them the mountain drops suddenly valley edge along the base of the Sierras, from to the level of valley and river. A remarkFort Tejon to Fort Reading, was thick-sown; able habit of the live-oaks (Quercus agrifolia) the Upper Sacramento was especially a land is to marshal themselves in military lines and of oaks, which it still remains. Not only " Paso groups along the smaller ravines that lead Robles,” but every pass in the foot-hills from upward from the large cañons, and so to one watershed to another, was truly a “pass of serve, in some measure, as sentinels that disthe oaks.” Most of the famous fords that the tinguish the watersheds and slopes of the gold-seekers knew over the Calaveras, the Tuo- range. The knolls and hilltops between seem lumne, the Consumnes, the Yuba, the Feather, nearly treeless, except for a few scattered pines. and hundreds of other rivers, were in the midst The rounded heads of oak after oak, in long of giant oaks. Every county and district has curving lines, occasionally massed on the brow some tree of local fame, and the time may come of a hill, where they stand against the sky, form when the history of the individual oaks of Cali- one of the most noteworthy features of the fornia will be of much interest. The most landscape over a large portion of California. prominent white oak of the valleys is Quercus One of the finest single oaks known is the lobata, a tree that often grows a hundred feet Sir Joseph Hooker tree on General Bidwell's high. This species, and the leading evergreen Rancho Chico in northern California. When species of the coast, the agrifolia, were discov- that distinguished botanist visited the region ered by Neé, the botanist. General Frémont, in company with Dr. Asa Gray, he declared who camped on the Stanislaus River in 1846, that this tree "was in all probability as large makes special mention of the superb white and perfect an oak as any in existence.” This oak, Professor Newberry, writing in 1853 of oak and several others of well-deserved fame, the Cache Creek country, says:

a few notable redwoods, one or two madroños,

the famous cypresses of Monterey, and some This timber-belt is composed of the most mag- noble pines of different species, should be set nificent oaks I have ever seen. They are not apart and protected as completely as the crowded as in our (Atlantic State) forests, but Sierra sequoias. Two or three well-chosen grow scattered about singly or in groups, with reservations of a thousand acres apiece-one open, grass-covered glades between them. The in Shasta or Siskiyou, another in Mendocino, trunks, often seven feet in diameter, soon divide into branches which spread over an area of which and a third in Santa Cruz—would preserve fine the diameter is considerably greater than the specimens of nearly all of the native shrubs height of the tree. There is no undergrowth be- and trees of California, and also several of the neath them, and as far as the eye can reach when best oak forests that are left unspoiled. standingamongthem, an unending series of great trunks is seen rising from the lawnlike surface.


A striking feature of the summits of the mountain ridges is the manner in which clumps of oaks occupy great hill-forts. Our highland oaks love to grow on isolated masses of rock, either alone or with pines and laurels. Some of the most characteristic trees of the species can be found crowning such rock fortresses on the points of otherwise naked promontories. One easily reaches

VOL. XLIV.- 110.


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