In the mid 1970s, I reported for duty as a National Park Service Seasonal Naturalist at Redwood National Park in Crescent City, California. That summer I kept and illustrated a journal which I would like to share with you in this and some following posts.
These posts were inspired by a serendipitous experience I had in mid-October, 2014 when I chatted with some rangers at Redwood National Park's Kuchel Visitor Center in Orick, California. I mentioned that I had been a ranger here forty years ago. Rangers Carey and Shaina said I should look at some staff photos they had just pulled up from the park's archive. Coincidentally the photos were from the summer of 1974! I said, there's Jim Early and my interpretation supervisor L. Finn. In a second photo I recognized R. Mastrogiuseppe who we called M-13 for his long name. In another photo of the seasonal staff I saw my twenty-five year-old self with long hair and my tinted German glasses from my Army duty there. Here's the photo with me third row back second from the left. M-13 is in the same row second from the right looking towards "Henry" who we named after his doppelganger Henry David Thoreau. Oddly, twenty years later I ran into "Henry" in Belize while watching howler monkeys in another national park.
Here I am with Rangers Carey and Shaina.
I presented them with one of the few remaining copies of the Lady Bird Johnson Grove Nature Trail Guide which I illustrated that summer.
Here's my journal entry written at the Lady Bird Johnson Grove. Followed by my journal drawings from this grove.
Silence. The fog has inundated these ridgetop redwoods- drifting silently through the green-crowned spires. Listen! No sound but the softly mewing winter wrens punctuated by a raven’s harsh croak. Now even the wrens are silent. Ahh! there’s the wind being parted by the many fingered spires high above. The rhododendron leaves are shimmering- the ferns gently rocking with the same breath. No hurry here- the seasons come and go. The redwoods remain.