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  • Karl Thunemann

Standing Beneath True Giants

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

Gazing upon this photograph evokes a sense of yearning and nostalgia: for all the times I have stood among such trees and the many more occasions I might have stood among them but was in too much of a hurry. I recall the dozens of times I have driven north through the Del Norte redwoods of a late afternoon, mesmerized by the shafts of life and clouds of mist that seem to alternate as the trees flit past. Imagine these giants flitting.  I was too absorbed in reaching my lodgings for the night.

These trees are in the Muir Woods National Monument, just 16 miles north of San Francisco

Redwoods are never in a hurry, but they are fully occupied. When mists and fog envelop them, they must seize the occasion to absorb moisture through their needles. It is part of their evolved, subtle intelligence.  They are thirsty trees, and drawing water through their roots, painstakingly schlepping it up through their towering trunks, takes forever.

I owe this photograph to my nephew, Phil Krumpe, who is truly a Renaissance man. He is a special education teacher and plays in an informal Irish band (flute and drums, plus singing) He and his wife Rachael both tech in inner-city schools in Fresno.

If you haven’t visited the redwoods, you owe it to yourself. To gaze upon redwoods may move humans to profound feelings of spirituality, but to truly absorb this experience we must stand still and allow ourselves to be with the trees.

Phil Krumpe


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