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Sequoia Trips on Sunday 6/11 and Friday 6/17 2017

My goal was:

  1. to stop by the Great Western Divide to look at the spot that my current painting is located at.
  2. to walk the Congress Trail completely and collect more photo resources.

What I actually saw on Sunday 6/11 was pretty much nothing.

Sequoia in the Clouds
Sequoia in the Clouds
Sequoia NP in the Clouds
Sequoia NP in the Clouds

Cold and in the clouds. The Great Western Divide had taken the day off,  but I did discover that the Dogwoods were in full bloom and lots of little ground cover flowers too.

You wildflower lovers need to take a drive.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh yeah…. this requires a second visit.

Friday 6/17/1017

Sunny and bright. What a glorious day. I made it up the hill by 9:00 am.

I did get some good photos of the area of my painting but not the exact spot. Lots of turnouts along the highway but …

Dogwoods in bloom on Hazelwood Nature Trail
Dogwoods in bloom on Hazelwood Nature Trail

One little side trip: The Hazelwood Nature Trail is a small narrow canyon filled with a little meadow, lots of scarred Giants and lush with Dogwoods. I was not disappointed. Dogwood paintings coming soon.

Back to the Congress Trail. Glorious day. Found several fantastic new painting spots. I’m totally in love with a new giant “Chief Sequoiah”, he’s very lumpy and knurly and rugged.

Discovered that “The House with Wild Ferns” no longer has ferns, the snow must have killed them.

SEQ-045Web
The House with Wild Ferns on the Congress Trail in Sequoia National Park. Original acrylic painting © Joy Collier 48″ x 24″ x 2″

2:30 and exhausted, I was ready to head down to Three Rivers when they closed the road due to an accident. I found a cool parking spot and took a short nap. Highway is still closed, so, what’s a girl to do?

How about a side trip to see my old lover; General Grant. He was in fine form. It’s been awhile since we had a visit and the parks have put new perimeter fencing around the tree allowing many new views. Got some great photos. Guess it’s time for another General or two.

I’m going home the long way on hwy 180, another great surprise, the first Giant Sequoia seen at the northern entrance to the park was lit up with the late afternoon sun and glorious.

First Giant you will see at the North entrance to Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks
First Giant you will see at the North entrance to Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks
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Sequoia Nation Park on Sunday morning 6/11/2017

Went up on Sunday to visit. I’m working on a painting of the Great Western Divide and I wanted to check a few things out – no way – It was a cold morning in the clouds. The Great Western Divide was taking a day off – no where to be seen. Maybe next week. It projected to be 105 here.

Sequoia NP in the Clouds
Sequoia NP in the Clouds
Sequoia NP in the Clouds
Sequoia NP in the Clouds
Sequoia in the Clouds
Sequoia in the Clouds
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Jane’s Entry Way – Walking into Round Meadow, Sequoia National Park

Jane’s new original piece “Round Meadow in Spring” completed her unique and beautiful entry way. Three pieces from Round Meadow in Sequoia National Park.  dscn0709

Round Meadow in Spring, Sequoia National Park
Round Meadow in Spring, Sequoia National Park
Round Meadow in Sequoia National Park
Round Meadow in Sequoia National Park
Two Trees with Fallen Giant on Round Meadow in Sequoia National Park
Two Trees with Fallen Giant on Round Meadow in Sequoia National Park
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General Grant Tree Trail – Kings Canyon National Park – EASY Sequoia Trail

General Grant Tree Trail is the most popular trail in Kings Canyon National Park. It has a large looping trail that allows you to view the giant trees from many angles.

General Grant Grove Trail - Kings Canyon National Park
General Grant Grove Trail – Kings Canyon National Park

EASY Sequoia Trail – This trail has a nice paved path that is easy walking and not much of an elevation change, which   causes a person to get out of breath. It includes places to rest and railings. The parking area includes a nice visitor store, restrooms and a restaurant.

 

 

 

The General Grant Tree Trail highlights Our Nation’s Christmas Tree.

General Grant Tree - the United States official Christmas Tree and the 3rd largest giant sequoia.
General Grant Tree – the United States official Christmas Tree and the 3rd largest giant sequoia.

The General Grant tree is the third largest tree in the world and the largest giant sequoia in the General Grant Grove section of Kings Canyon National Park in California.

The tree was named in 1867 after Ulysses S. Grant, Union Army general and the 18th President of the United States (1869-877).

President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed it the “Nation’s Christmas Tree” on April 28, 1926.

Due in large part to its huge base, the General Grant tree was thought to be the largest tree in the world prior to 1931, when the first precise measurements indicated that the General Sherman was slightly larger.

On March 29, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared the tree a “National Shrine”, a memorial to those who died in war. It is the only living object to be so declared.

 

 

 

This trail includes many interesting trees including the fallen Michigan Tree.

Kings Canyon National Park - the Michigan Tree
Eye on the Next Generation – the fallen Michigan Tree roots form an eye shape that watches over the next generation of new Giant Sequoias in the General Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park

 

 

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Hazelwood Nature Trail – Sequoia National Park – EASY Sequoia Trail

 Hazelwood Nature Trail is less developed than the Round Meadow Trail and has a unique more rustic feel.  No bathrooms, no benches and only a dirt path, more of that back-country feel but not too remote or strenuous. The entrance is directly across the Generals Highway from The Big Trees Trail and down a hillside path from the Giant Forest Museum.

Hazelwood Nature Trail - Sequoia National Park
Cathedral Window, looking out through a burned Giant Sequoia into the rich cool green forest.

Hazelwood has it’s own unique character, defined by a fire that swept up the little valley and has marked the Sequoias and cleared the path for many younger trees and a small meadow. If you visit in the early spring, this trail is lush with dogwoods blooming.

EASY Sequoia Trail – This trail is an easy walk of an hour or so.

I fell in love with a completely burned out giant with its rich deep colors of reds, oranges, golds and blues, where the fire burned extra hot. This giant reminds me of peering through a cathedral window with the stained glass greens of the forest behind.

I didn’t realize that this was the area that Holly and I had painted in 2009. Many of the old landmarks have changed with the restoration project. When I got home and was going through my photos I was astounded to find that I had painted this very tree, not just once but several times before but from a very different angle. I also had painted the small meadow and the dogwoods against a Giant Sequoia.

Holly-in-Hazelwood
Holly Overin Eisner painting Plein Air on Hazelwood Nature trail in Sequoia National Park
Dogwoods blooming in front of a Giant Sequoia Tree
Dogwoods blooming in front of a Giant Sequoia Tree
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Big Trees Trail – Round Meadow – Sequoia National Park – EASY Sequoia Trail

The Clara Barton tree is the 1st Giant Sequoia you will encounter on Big Trees Trail in the Round Meadow
The Clara Barton tree is the 1st Giant Sequoia you will encounter on Big Trees Trail in the Round Meadow

Round Meadow is delightful lush meadow filled with wild grasses and wild flowers, surrounded by Giant Sequoias, fir, pine and cedar trees, visited by California black bear and deer, with fallen tree roots that provide the perfect environment for many marmot families. If you sit quietly on one of the many redwood benches the parks service has provided along the level paved path you will probably hear them thunder along the fallen logs that they use as highways before you ever see them. They are well camouflaged and a delight to watch.

Two Trees with Fallen Log
Two Trees with Fallen Giant are at the far end of Round Meadow.

Round Meadow provides a rich diversity of fauna & flora and it has gone through a miraculous transformation since the parks department has been restoring it. You would never know that there used to be 100 or so buildings surrounding the meadow. Learn more about the “Giant Forest Restoration” .

EASY Sequoia Trail – This trail is an easy walk from the Giant Forest Museum where you can park your car or get dropped off by the park shuttle, but if you are more physically challenged there is a second small handicapped parking area just at the entrance to the trail. It is the only trail that has a restroom and benches to rest on all the way around the meadow, so if you have small children or walking is a challenge or just need to rest along the way, try this trail.

Big Trees Trail is by far one of my favorite trails.

 

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Bear Boxes

Bear Boxes to protect the people and to protect the bears.

When I first started painting in Sequoia National Park my friend Holly and I camped for a week and painted. The experience was delightful but it became abundantly clear the purpose of the Bear Boxes in the campsites.

Every night after we had retired you could hear the bears banging around at the broken bear box in the campsite adjoining ours and every morning we would emerge to a campsite littered with trash, chip bags and all kinds of junk food wrappers, etc. which are not good for the bears, but do encourage them to keep coming and looking for more treats. I have been wanting to donate money to help maintain these bear boxes. It keeps peoples food safe, it discourages the bears from visiting because the boxes are designed with a latch that they can not open with their paws but as we all know the funds for the parks is limited…. Soooo…. if you purchase any of my Sequoia Paintings or prints, I will donate at least 10%, maybe more… to the Sequoia Parks Conservency (The Non-Profit Partner to the National Park Service in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks)  . Thank You! Joy

Learn more about the bears here: https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/bears.htm

Learn more about “Paint the Parks” .

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Paint the Parks

"Eye on the Next Generation" - The Michigan Tree is a fallen giant. It's eye shaped root opening looks out on a new generation of young giants. You can view this treen in Kings Canyon National Park on the Grant Grove Trail.
“Eye on the Next Generation” – The Michigan Tree is a fallen giant. It’s eye shaped root opening looks out on a new generation of young giants. You can view this tree in Kings Canyon National Park on the Grant Grove Trail.

While showing my artwork at the Redbud Festival in Three Rivers, CA. this year I meet the director and some of the staff of the Sequoia Parks Conservancy . They are the Non-Profit Partner to the National Parks Service in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Actually, I have been looking for this organization so that I can make donations to help the parks when I sell a painting or print and a miraculous thing happened, they directed me towards a brand new website called “Paint the Parks” . As an artist of the parks, I can show my parks related artwork and donate 10% of every sale to the non-profit foundation associated with the park, celebrating the parks and helping to conserve them, what a great mix.