Mountain Home - Photography Amongst the Giant Sequ by...
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  2. Mountain Home - Photography Amongst the Giant SequMountain Home - Photography Amongst the Giant Sequ
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Little known by the public, Mountain Home State Demonstration Forest contains aobut 5,000 giant sequoias and a collection of mysterious "Indian Bathtubs." Our group spent a weekend exploring this beautiful corner of the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains.

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Sierra Bathtub - An Enduring Mystery
What are the Sierra Bathtubs (also known by several other names, including Indian Bathtubs)?

Are these naturally formed holes in the relatively solid granite (this one partially filled with mud and rainwater), or were they created by the conscious efforts of American Indians? And if they were created by humans, to what purpose? The answers are not known. We do know the bathtubs seem to be associated with Sequoia groves and often enough seem to set in a more or less straight line. This is one of perhaps a dozen found on the western edge of Mountain Home, and other bathtubs are scattered around the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains.

We also know humans seasonally inhabited this portion of the Sierra Nevada, in a place we today call Sunset Point, for several thousand years. These people largely disappeared from this region of the Sierra Nevada a few years after the 1848 Gold Rush brought thousands of immigrants into Califoria.
Bear Clover Blossom and a Beetle
Bear Clover
This little fern-like plant grows on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is also known as Mountain Misery, probably because it is not difficult for a hike to catch a boot in it.
Bigalow Sneezeweed
Cone Flower and Bees
Dandilion Floater
Indian Paint Brush Against a Dandilion Backdrop
Dandilion and Indian Painbrush
A bit of out of focus green and red color complements the rather monochromatic dandilion.
Giant Dandilions
I have often seen large dandilions while driving up to Mountain Home. But these dandilions were something special because they truly were enormous. We found them after taking a wrong turn on a dirt road while searching for the Genesis Tree, reputedly one of the largest of all sequoias.
Near Hidden Falls
The little pool next to the roadway in the Hidden Falls area is perhaps the most visited spot - outside the campgrounds - in Mountain Home.
Spring Near Hidden Falls
Fern, Shadow, Rock
Tack Room Coats
Tack Room Saddle
In the Tack Room
Reflection In An Eye
The Eye
Horse at Close Quarters
Balch Park Stable Horse
We photographing at the wonderful Balch Park Pack Station.
Leaf and Insect
Backlit Leaf
I have no idea what sort of wildflower this is - I found the flower, with its particularly tiny blossoms, growing beneath a giant sequoia.
Bee on a Thimbleberry Blossom
Thimbleberry Blossom
Indian Paintbrush - Closeup
Indian Paintbrush
Diffracted Light on a Spider Web
I could see the prismatic colors on the spider web with my naked eye. To photograph the colors, and view the curved shape of the web, I had to look through my camera lens, with an attached +4 diopter close-up lens. I've never seen a spider web look like this, but I'll keep an eye out for another one.
A Spider, its Web and Diffraction
Sidelight on a Spider Web
Ferns are part of the understory of the forest - those plants that grow beneath the canopy of pines and sequoias. In Mountain Home, some species of ferns stand several feet tall.
Sierra Lilly - Close-up
Sierra Lilly
Dogwood Leaves
Sunlit Tree
A burned Sequoia stump provides the dark background for this backlit pine.
Dogwood Beneath the Genesis Tree
The Genesis Tree is quite possibly one of the most massive sequoia in existence. Some say the third largest, some the seventh. Who knows?

The Genesis Tree lies just outside the boundary of Mountain Home, in Sequoia National Forest. It's not easy to find, as it is not marked on the official Mountain Home map, and even some Mountain Home forest managers have never heard of it (I'll take you there on next year's trip!).
Sequoia Base - Dusk
I made this photograph about 9 p.m., in near darkness. With the help of a tripod, my camera had no problem seeing and recording the soft light filtering into the forest.
Sequoia Dawn
Texture and Color
These three sequoias are part of perhaps 5,000 of the Big Trees found within the boundaries of Mountain Home. Relatively few people visit this portion of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, east of the San Joaquin town of Porterville.

These trees - sequoia giganteum - can live for more than 2,000 years and reach heights of 200 feet and more. (They are a separate species but in the same family as their redwood cousins - sequoia sempervirens - on the coast of California.)
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