The forest primeval

The forest primeval, originally uploaded by Shiny Things.

Ten miles north of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge and through the charming seaside town of Sausalito, lies the Muir Woods National Monument, “the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world”.

Muir Woods protects a collection of coast redwoods, the tallest trees in the world (take that, giant sequoia): the coast redwood can grow to 115 metres, while the tallest known giant sequoia only reached 95 metres. (The giant sequoia is thicker, so it’s larger by volume… but who cares about volume unless you’re Spinal Tap?)

Here’s a creekside grove of redwoods from Muir Woods, and more: a redwood cone (one of the smallest cones of any conifer); some redwood saplings; and a closeup of a cross-section from a thousand-year-old tree.