National Geographic : 1939 Feb
CALIFORNIA'S COASTAL REDWOOD REALM mammal that made California history," re marked a histo rian who had brought his stu dents to watch the mysterious creatures. IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE CLI MATE, DRIVE ON HALF A MILE! North of Fort Ross we drove along a veritable Corniche road, twisting around sheer headlands and dipping into ravinelike valleys with pocketed fog. Merino and Shropshire sheep grazed on tundra like hillsides or huddled around brave, wind blown trees. We shivered the July day we halted at wind swept Elk to view the enormous crescent of sheer cliffs and high tides churning white foam around snaggle toothed rocks. We sought welcome shel ter and hot cof fee in a village store and there saw a perspir ing sheepherder Photograph by B. Anthony Stewart REDWOODS BUILD THEIR OWN SHOWCASE FOR AN EXHIBIT The apparent single stump attests the growing together of five seedlings which grafted as they increased in diameter (page 164). The young trees started on top the fallen redwood. Then their roots reached down like tentacles through and around the moist bark and decaying sapwood until they penetrated the ground. A shrub beside the man is a third growth atop the prolific pyramid. The fallen tree was more than a thousand years old when it toppled over. The upright trees were about 600 years old when they were cut. mopping his brow. "Give me a long, cold drink," he was saying. "It's too hot up in the hills to be chasing sheep around on a day like this." "How far up?" we asked. "About half a mile." A hand-lettered sign advertised a town hall dance to begin "at dark." "What time will it break up?" "Oh, at daylight, except for the boys who have to get home to milk the cows. The rest of us will stay for breakfast." We were in spacious Mendocino County, half as large again as Delaware. Here the "Wild West" is untamed over wide areas. A week before we had seen in a downtown San Francisco office building a State sign: "Lion Hunters Wanted. $110 a month plus bounties on pelts." Duties included "track ing, treeing, and shooting lions; training and caring for lion hunting dogs." The notice emphasized that the position was "open to men only." Apparently Mrs. Mar tin Johnson need not apply!