Big Meadow – The Narrowest Giant Meadow Ever

On my way between Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, I stopped up in the Giant Sequoia National Monument. This forest service land is now preserved after significant logging in the recent past.

It was hard to get into the meadow from the road, despite being the largest meadow in the central sierra (and visible from space)

http://goo.gl/maps/5wukw

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Dense undergrowth, fences and other obstacles added to the drought-plagued grasses to make it a bleak scene

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But once you got out there, it was amazing. The meadow is comprised of 6-10 lobes, each a mile or two long but very narrow

 

 

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This was one of the few expansive areas, and should have been full of wildflowers

 

 

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There is a main creek that drains the meadow and it was surprisingly full in September

 

 

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Winding its way along the edge here

 

 

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Inside the nearby pools, there were all kinds of aquatic plants and bugs

 

 

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Another lobe, see the shorter trees encroaching on the meadow

 

 

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These were very, very tall trees

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Another lobe of the meadow

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I had lunch in the bushes nearby (less wet on pants) and found this little blueberry (I had several and they were delish)

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Some were even showing their brilliant fall color

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Love the purples

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And reds

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Pot leaf in the forest? No, this is a wild geranium

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And even a hidden gem – a mushroom

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And an edible, fresh bolete at that

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The whirls of the trees were interesting to look up at, but I bet they need a good fire to clear things out here

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Sticky sap

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While eating lunch I realized I was sitting in bear snacking country and headed out to my campground in Sequoia

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Saw some cows, seems odd to allow grazing here

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There were a ton of houses and cabins in and around the western end of the meadow, which was also surprising. This cabin must have been descended from one that existed before the feds bought the land here, but they can’t exceed the footprint of that original cabin

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Next up – Lots more big trees from the giant forest.

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