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USA Wanderings: Henry Cowell Redwoods

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It’s been hot here in California, they are temperatures I am used to, but I have never experienced them in September before. It really doesn’t seem fair that I come all this way and it is so hot. I suppose it is better than having lots and lots of rain while I was here,. So today with the temperatures set to soar again it was decided that we would go to the redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Henry Cowell Redwoods.

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They are big, as you can see here, and some are over 2000 years old. I did this image with the cottage so you could see how big they were.

We went there to go hiking through it and just look around. It was so incredible. It was another place where everywhere you looked you were saying ‘oh wow’.

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Places like this can be incredibly hard to photograph. How do you take photos that will be interesting? You don’t just want lots of trees there. I tried to find things that would make them more so by looking for things like paths that ran through the trees.

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Or by looking for the light and how it caught the trees or went through them. Initially we didn’t get a lot of light, but slowly the sun started breaking through.

They really are so amazing. I’ve never really seen anything like them before. I am so glad we went to see them. I went with my sister in law and two of her friends, and I promised them I would do a post to show them how the photos came out. Β I’m afraid there are quite a few, I hope you don’t mind.

I am just going to put the selection I have for you into a gallery now. Don’t forget you can click on anyΒ of them to see them larger.

74 Comments
  1. It’s been in the 90s here in Virginia too…and it is almost mid-September.
    My favorite one of these photos is the trees with the thick spider webs below. The contrasts made by the lights and shadows in all of them are beautiful.

    September 12, 2015
    • Thankfully it is cooler today Mary, I find that kind of heat quite exhausting.
      That image seems to be a favourite with a few, interesting. Thank you.

      September 13, 2015
  2. rainydayreflections #

    Gorgeous photos. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you’re enjoying your visit to the US.

    September 12, 2015
    • Thank you, I am enjoying it, has been wonderful.

      September 13, 2015
  3. this looks like a beautiful place to visit, thanks for taking us with you. I love the forest images, were you using a wide angle len to get all that height in?

    September 12, 2015
    • It is Janice, it is quite awe inspiring. Yes, I was, the Tamron 15-30mm, it was perfect for this forest. thanks.

      September 13, 2015
  4. Great shots. The redwood forests are amazing, aren’t they? I remember just being staggered by how vast the trees were. I imagine it’s tricky to try and convey their scale in a photograph so well done for achieving it.

    September 12, 2015
    • Thanks Laura, and yes, they are really amazing. It is tricky, I tried to include things in the environment to help with that scale. Thanks again.

      September 13, 2015
  5. I don’t think there’s a single word that describes these beautiful…er…trees. To call them trees seems to minimize them and they are anything but.

    You took beautiful photos of them. They make me want to go back and get better pics than what I got the first time.

    Did you see General Sherman? I think it’s the largest and oldest but not sure.

    September 12, 2015
    • Thank you, they really are magnificent.
      I hope you can go back, I think the more you photograph it the better your photos will get too.
      I am not sure, we saw so many trees.

      September 13, 2015
  6. Nice pine forrest, it is so beautiful to walk in such a forrest but really hard to capture that is true :-). You got some nice photos out of this trip,

    September 12, 2015
    • Thank you Anders, glad you like what I got.

      September 13, 2015
  7. I’m sure it must have been a great relief from the heat in there. Mother Nature comes in very handy πŸ™‚

    September 12, 2015
    • It was Saxon, it was cool and really nice in there. She certainly does, thank you.

      September 13, 2015
  8. We saw Californian redwoods in Rotorua in New Zealand and they were absolutely magnificent. Lovely photos.

    September 12, 2015
    • I think so too Carol, there are some near Apollo Bay as well, though not as big as they were only planted in the 1930’s I think. Thank you.

      September 13, 2015
  9. I think NYC is hotter because of the humidity. I wish I was still visiting in Sydney. I love trees. Redwoods are hard to photograph. The sense of scale is hard to capture.

    September 12, 2015
    • Is it, I wonder, usually in Melbourne when it is humid it doesn’t get as hot. I hope I get neither there, lol. I know what you mean, thank you Sherry.

      September 13, 2015
  10. I have been following your blog for a little while. Your photos are amazing. Your posts from your travels in the USA however make me realise that you can produce so many excellent photos every single day. I struggle to find a decent photo for my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ErichPhotoDaily every day – but you produce scores of excellent photos every day. I guess that is the difference between an amateur and a professional photographer.

    September 12, 2015
    • Thank you, I don’t know about that, I do try however. I think it is all about experience and just doing it, I’ve been doing this for a long time, I’m sure if you keep doing what you are doing you will get really good too. Good luck.

      September 14, 2015
  11. Lady luck is with you Leanne,the sunlight go trhough the leaves creating a contrasting of dark and light of the forest. Awesome shots and enjoy your trips….

    September 12, 2015
    • I was thinking the same Cattan, I’ve been very fortunate with the weather. Thank you.

      September 14, 2015
  12. I love the redwoods. Great pictures Leanne.

    September 12, 2015
    • I love them too Sonya, thank you.

      September 14, 2015
  13. I enjoyed the journey throught the woods!

    September 12, 2015
    • That’s great, it was lovely being there, thank you.

      September 14, 2015
  14. It really is hard to give a sense of scale to those magnificent trees. And it boggles the mind to think they aren’t even the oldest trees on the planet. Are you going to spend any time in the central part of the US or is this going to be a west coast / east coast trip?

    September 12, 2015
    • It is, they are big, though for me it wasn’t so much the height but how far around they are, or wide. Some were huge. No not this time, I leave for New York on Tuesday and then that’s it, before I go home at the end of the month. Thanks.

      September 14, 2015
      • There is one in Redwood National Forest you can drive through.

        September 14, 2015
      • That must be amazing, it’s a shame I have to head to New York tomorrow. Time is running out. Thanks

        September 15, 2015
  15. Beautiful Leanne. You are having such a full experience! 😊

    September 12, 2015
    • I think so, all the things on the list for this area have been ticked so far. Thanks

      September 14, 2015
  16. I’m so inspired by these photos! I feel like there’s a story hidden in them. Thanks for sharing, Leanne! πŸ™‚

    September 12, 2015
    • You’re welcome, and thank you, I like what you have said.

      September 14, 2015
  17. Ron #

    Hi Leanne, Most of these photos are impressive to me but the ones that really grabbed me are the Railway bridge reflection and the bed of spider webs. The redwoods remind me of the ones in the Otways in South West Victoria although the ones you have just seen are really impressive. Well done at your portrayal of them, makes one want to visit and just see what is around the next corner. Thanks for sharing. Regards Ron Bairnsdale Victoria Australia.

    September 12, 2015
    • Thank you Ron, do you mean the ones near Apollo Bay, I saw those a month or so ago, they were lovely, but nothing compared to these. If you ever get a chance to visit them you should, they are really amazing.

      September 14, 2015
  18. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    I read in the National Geographic Magazine that those redwoods have enormous root systems and are considered to be one of the largest (and oldest) living things on earth.

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/redwoods/redwoods

    September 12, 2015
    • Apparently they have a shallow roots so when they get to a certain height they can just fall over, that’s what we were told there, some of the trees are over 2000 years, I think that is amazing. Great information Jackie, thanks.

      September 14, 2015
  19. Truly spectacular and inspiring. Thanks Leanne.

    September 12, 2015
  20. -N- #

    Really nice pictures! The photos really do catch the mood in the forest under the redwoods. Also, I hope that photo 4569 with all the pretty red leaves was pointed out to you as poison oak. Touch it, and you can break out in blisters everywhere – often its antidote, mugwort, is growing nearby. A place I like to hike locally has tons of it off the trails – we call it the “poison paradise” because we would like to ramble up the hills, but stay on the paths, and are vigilantly watching where we step, and even what we brush by and may inadvertently touch.

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you, and no it wasn’t. I was told it was there, but I wasn’t told what it looked like, so I am very glad I didn’t actually touch it.

      September 14, 2015
  21. ‘this land was made for you and me…’

    September 13, 2015
    • I even know where that line came from.

      September 14, 2015
  22. So glad you went to Henry Cowell! It is one of the lesser-known Redwood parks. I only recently discovered it and I live nearby! I posted about it here: https://stinsonphotography.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/henry-cowell-r…ods-state-park/

    BTW: did you ride the train?

    September 13, 2015
    • It was lovely, I had heard there was another one, but this is the one we went to because of the train, yes, we did go on it, but more about that another day. Thanks Doug.
      BTW your link doesn’t work.

      September 14, 2015
  23. Great job capturing iconic views and making them interesting! You’ve made me want to go there!

    September 13, 2015
    • That is fantastic, I hope you can go Krysten, it is quite an amazing place. Thank you.

      September 14, 2015
  24. WOW Leanne, your photos are really amazing: -D

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you Irene, the really wide angle lens really helped.

      September 14, 2015
      • No matter how you did this Leanne, it is amazing beautiful πŸ˜€

        September 14, 2015
      • Thank you Irene, that’s lovely of you to say. πŸ™‚

        September 14, 2015
  25. I am glad that you were able to see the tees in spite of the wood. The picture with the web was very good.

    September 13, 2015
    • Haha, I guess someone had to say it, thanks tootlepedal.

      September 14, 2015
      • It would have been better if I had said trees not tees.

        September 14, 2015
      • What that isn’t what you meant lol

        September 14, 2015
  26. There’s nothing to mind!

    September 13, 2015
  27. My sort of place! The cottage certainly puts things into perspective. Just think of Melb weather in July πŸ˜‰

    September 14, 2015
    • Mine too Julie, so lovely to walk around it and just take it in. the cottage was good for that. I will, though it has cooled down a bit now, which is nice. Thanks Julie. πŸ™‚

      September 15, 2015
  28. Beautiful. Interesting. I’m not getting a gallery anymore. I click on the first shot and it takes me to a single image, so I have to click on each image individually.

    September 15, 2015
    • You should be able to scroll through them, aren’t you getting the arrows to click on the side to do that?

      September 15, 2015
      • Exactly, that’s what I’m not getting.

        September 15, 2015
      • I don’t know Elen, that is weird, I went and had a look at mine, and I have them, it is so frustrating when things work for some but not others. Do you know if you get the same thing on other blogs.

        September 15, 2015
      • There are a couple. I can’t remember which at the moment. But this started happening with you recently. I have no idea why. I could always see your galleries.

        September 15, 2015
      • Have you asked WP if it is a problem? I hate it when people say that it doesn’t seem to be happening with others, but I haven’t heard from anyone else.

        September 15, 2015
      • I have sent you an email Elen.

        September 15, 2015
      • No. I have not checked with WP yet. I only mentioned it because you have been making changes with your sites, and I thought maybe it had something to do with that. I’ll do some investigating when I get a moment.

        September 15, 2015
      • The changes shouldn’t make any difference, but we will have to see what we can find out.

        September 15, 2015
  29. Awesome photos! I was just there last month. I’ll be sharing mine soon. πŸ™‚

    September 18, 2015
    • Thank you, I have so many photos, going to take some time to get through them. πŸ™‚

      September 19, 2015

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