The Wild Trees

January 4, 2008 at 2:08 am 23 comments

BAH! Once again, my brother-in-law, Clint, managed to get me a super awesome Christmas gift which ended up in the upper percentile of my gifts received. What did I get him? Oh, just something off his ThinkGeek Wishlist that apparently someone else got him too!


Clint’s Wishlist. He wants 1 Plasma Mug w/Electronic Coaster, but has received 2.

A big F.U. to you, Clint, for getting me a gift that rocked while my gift lacked originality on all fronts.

So what was this gift that has irked me so? It is the book “The Wild Trees” by Richard Preston. The book is about the hikers, botanists, lichenologists, inventors and climbers who all contributed to discovering the tallest trees in the world; climbing them; and studying the surprising plants, fungi and animals that made their home nearly 400 feet above the ground. Man actually walked on the moon decades before he knew what diversity lived up at the top of the giant redwoods. In the redwood canopies, the scientists discovered over a hundred species of lichen, moss, ferns, salamanders, crustaceans, huckleberry bushes and then my favorite– earthworms living in the soil deposited on the giant branches.

As you can tell probably tell from my intro, I loved the book. I am a notoriously slow reader. It took me about a year and a half to complete Stephen Ambrose’s D-Day: The Climatic Battle of WWII (and a lot of Omaha Beach related nightmares). This book took me two days. It was quite fascinating and I recommend it with two disclaimers:

1) It did take me a while to adjust to the novel-like narrative. I believe I cringed when I got to this section of the second paragraph:

“His name was Marwood Harris, and he was a senior at Reed College, in Portland, majoring in English and history. He walked off to the side of the parking lot and unzipped his fly. There was a splashing sound.”

But, I adjusted and in the end, I rather enjoyed the approach the author took. It was neat way to get to know and understand the key players better.

2) There are no photographs. That was almost as frustrating as Clint‘s impeccable Christmas gift giving skills. The book kept describing all these intriguing sites such as giant fire caves inside the tree or deadly “widow-makers” (broken branches) dangling from the tops. It made me want to SEE said items. But all they provided was some lame-o drawings and sketches. Boo!

But, I did find that the author has some of his climbing pictures on his website. I couldn’t find no stinking fire cave, but there are some cool shots in the mix. And I was able to ascertain that the woman who had intercourse at the top of a giant redwood was indeed pretty good looking. 🙂


Screw the mile high club. These two people had sex in a tree *without* safety lines on.

Entry filed under: Clint L, redwoods, Richard Preston, The Wild Trees. Tags: .

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23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Clint  |  January 4, 2008 at 4:47 am

    I didn’t get 2 of anything, though!

    Reply
  • 2. Carolyn  |  January 4, 2008 at 9:36 am

    We haven’t gotten the presents from Vicky & Sean yet…. ooops!

    Reply
  • 3. tgaw  |  January 4, 2008 at 9:51 am

    @Carolyn– umm… I guess you should check that well or something. According to UPS Package tracking, your package was delivered on 12/19 at 5:42 PM.

    Reply
  • 4. Carolyn  |  January 4, 2008 at 10:36 am

    ??? Clint, did we get any packages???

    Nothing’s been in the well – believe me, with all the x-mas & birthday presents, we’ve been watching it.

    Reply
  • 5. Clint  |  January 4, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Missing a package is not a possibility.

    Reply
  • 6. Chriggy  |  January 4, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Maybe the postman took it. Or it just dissapeared after supposedly being delivered? It’s happened to us before.

    Reply
  • 7. Clint  |  January 4, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    In 10 yrs at this house, that’s never happened to us. Our yard isn’t the most navigable in the area, and our house isn’t the most appealing in the area. Actually, I’ve never had a package stolen anywhere in my life.

    Anyway – I received one. So who’s to say I didn’t receive Vicky’s?

    The package was delivered HERE at 12/19? I was here all day. I look for packages outside every day, too.

    Was there anything else in it?

    I don’t remember the “FROM” name on the gift…

    Reply
  • 8. Vicky  |  January 4, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Looking over the ThinkGeek emails, there would have been three things in the package:

    1. Plasma Mug w/Electronic Coaster
    2. WTF? Babydoll Tee – Black, M
    3. The ThinkGeek Annoy-a-tron (Not sure what this is, but it was free with a coupon, so there you go)

    And here I thought my problem was giving a duplicate gift. 🙂

    Reply
  • 9. Clint  |  January 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Hmm.
    I got a Plasma mug.
    Carolyn got a WTF tee.
    No annoy-a-tron.

    Reply
  • 10. tgaw  |  January 4, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    I am going to pretend that was my package you received then. And I’m not going to lose sleep over this annoy-a-tron. Like I said before, it was free.

    Reply
  • 11. Carolyn  |  January 4, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    But I thought you got the plasma mug from someone in your family on Christmas Day. And I got the wtf tee on Christmas Eve, I thought???

    Reply
  • 12. Carolyn  |  January 4, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    But I deleted the stuff of my thinkgeek wishlist when I realized it doesn’t remove things that people bought for you, it just points out how many of that item you received. (I realized this last year, btw), and I didn’t notice it saying I received two, but I wasn’t paying attention either…….

    Reply
  • 13. Clint  |  January 4, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    The package might be lost then.
    Annoy-a-Trons don’t just disappear … ?

    Vicky, I might opt for a refund. We can state for sure that we never received a package that day.

    Reply
  • 14. Ogre... okay, Jeff. I'll grow up now.  |  January 5, 2008 at 3:18 am

    Oh wow… look who I found!

    Just thought I’d leave a brief note and say “hi”. ^_^

    I must say, that book sounds pretty interesting, I may have to check it out. I remember when I used to like hiking,and just roaming the trails around Great Falls, back when I used to actually DO STUFF.

    Looks like you’re doing well, take care and drop me a line some time.

    -J

    Reply
  • 15. passionphish  |  January 5, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Sex up in a tree!?? Man, she must be one kewl chick!!!!

    hehehehehe

    Reply
  • 16. geekhiker  |  January 8, 2008 at 12:53 am

    That’s a book that’s been on my list for a while; your recommendation definitely bumps it up. Have you ever been to the Redwoods? Let me know if you go, I need an excuse to go again. 🙂

    And where, oh where, will I find a girl to join the “Top of the Tree” club with me? (asked rhetorically, of course🙂 )

    Reply
  • 17. Aaron  |  January 8, 2008 at 10:44 am

    I guess that takes practicing safe sex to a whole new level.

    (terrible pun intentional)

    Reply
  • 18. tgaw  |  January 8, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    @passionphish – Not as cool as your wife who’ll be holding down the fort in just a little more than two months (Yikes! March 08 is approaching fast!)

    @geekhiker – I was at Muir Woods in 2000 (That was before I knew how John Muir was!). But according to the book:

    “Though the redwoods in Muir Woods are hauntingly beautiful trees, they are relatively small and are not very tall, at least for redwoods. The redwoods you can see in Muir Woods are nothing like the redwood titans that stand in the rain-forest valleys of the North Coast, closer to Oregon.”

    So….. I think I’m going to have to make a return trip one day!

    @Aaron– Ha! You are a little late. I had a friend make a very similar joke at lunch last week.🙂

    Reply
  • 19. geekhiker  |  January 9, 2008 at 12:44 am

    Indeed that’s true. It’s a bit of a drive up there, but the woods around Eureka are awe-inspiring, not just for their size, but for their age. There is something deeply moving about standing beside a tree that’s been growing for a couple thousand years…

    Reply
  • 20. M. D. Vaden of Oregon  |  February 6, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Agreed with the first comment about no photos in the book. It should have had one or two.

    Know what’s as good as the book?

    Finding the hidden secret location of the grove of titans in Jed Smith Redwoods.

    If I hyperlinked right at the URL box, either my name or other is a text link to a page about my hunt for the trees. Which I found.

    One of the more gratifying hikes in that park is the Boy Scout Tree trail, also called Fern Falls Trail.

    No titans on it. But lots of big trees. If you find the page I linked to, you will find my album with images from that park.

    By the way, I added a photo on my page.

    Looks like html works here, so let’s try this…

    M. D. Vaden search for Grove of Titans

    Hope that works.

    Reply
  • […] May 11, 2008 Over the winter, I read The Wild Trees and learned about the botanists and climbers who studied the diverse ecosystems in the canopies of the giant redwoods. I enjoyed the book and you can read my original thoughts in an earlier post. […]

    Reply
  • 22. Tree on Tree Action « TGAW  |  May 13, 2010 at 9:12 am

    […] Don’t by any means think this is a unique example! Richard Preston’s The Wild Trees describes impressive ecosystems found in the canopies of the giant […]

    Reply
  • 23. Behind Michael Nichols’ Redwood Pictures « TGAW  |  December 2, 2010 at 5:01 am

    […] the scenes account of the process on The Huffington Post. A couple of names familiar to me from The Wild Trees make appearances. You can also see snippets of their process in the following video from National […]

    Reply

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