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Calender Germar's Monthly Updater

May 2004: Redwood National Park

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In May, I spontaneously flew to Eureka and spent a weekend in Redwood National Park. I had a perfect time. The schedule worked out well, there were no crowds (as there are in summer), weather and temperatures were perfect, and flowers were blooming.


The main reason why I visited the National Park was to see Rhododendron amongst big trees. I was not disappointed. Seeing the luminous pink flowers below the dark canopy of the giant redwoods was most dramatic. The flowers almost appeared like candles in a cathedral. I had hoped for some fog, which further enhances the contrast between the bright blossoms and dim trunks, but was cursed with sunshine (how often can you say that). Still, walking between the ancient Sequoias and the radiating blooms was an unforgettable experience.




In addition to trees and flowers, the park features great beaches, coves, lagoons and rivers.


Lady Bird Johnson Grove

Split Rock from High Bluff Overlook


Cove at Yurok Trail



Fern Canyon
Fern Canyon is part of Prairie Creek State Park, which is embedded in the National Park. The vertical walls of the canyon are about 30 feet high and completely covered with ferns. The small creek flowing through the gorge adds further to the spectacular setting. It truly looks like a rainforest.




The park features a abundance of wildlife. Most notable are Roosevelt Elk, whales migrating along the coast (I saw about 10), and yellow Banana Slugs. There are also bears and cougars, but I didn't see any.


Roosevelt Elk

Homo sapiens ssp. perbeatus




Palomar State Park
On the forth weekend in May, I drove up to Palomar Mountain State Park. The park is located below the world-famous Palomar Observatory at roughly 5000 feet elevation. It features large fir trees, lovely meadows, and a small pond with frogs and fish. I was happy to also find Rhododendron. It's a different species than that in Redwood National Park: the blossoms are white but equally beautiful.

Rhododendron Occidentale

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