Friday, February 25, 2011

Postcard Friendship Friday - Forever Green

Little cabins nestled among the redwoods at Siskiyou Camp in California.

The card is postmarked 1933, O'Brien Oregon, and reads:

Dear Nettie (Monday)

I am going on this A.M. All fixed up fine. Am feeling only fair. Rather high here for me. Will write when I get to the coast. Love, A. C.

Nettie lives in Medford Oregon. I'm pretty sure A.C. does as well since the card is addressed to Mrs. A.C. Walker. A prominent feature of Medford is Roxy Peak, a 30 million year old dormant volcano.
It sounds as though AC is having health issues. I was afraid he was on his way to Olalla Washington. It's not too far north of O'Brian. A retreat that claimed to cure by starvation was in Olalla during the early 1900's. Linda Burfield Hazzard cured several people to death there.

They all signed their estates and personal items over to her. Well, someone signed the documents. Also their gold teeth and anything else of value. Linda was arrested and convicted of manslaughter in 1912. She served just 2 years and then packed up and moved to New Zealand for a while. In 1920 she came back to Olalla and practiced the starvation cure for another 16 years. Greg Olsen's excellent book, Starvation Heights, tells the history of the "sanitarium" and the plight of the people who came in search of a cure.

Anyway, since AC was headed north and doesn't appear to be going directly home, I was afraid he might have thought a cure was in order for his unspecified ailments.

I chose today's postcard with a photo of coast redwoods (Sequoia Sempervirens) because I saw some in person recently. Sempervirens is latin for ever green, but the word "ever" applies to their longevity as well as their "always green" leaves.

I took this picture at Muir Woods! A magnificent, quiet, beautiful park. This is land that Teddy Roosevelt set aside for all of us to share and enjoy for as long as there are people to come and enjoy it.

I got up close and personal with this beauty. It felt like the tree was hugging me. I hugged a few myself.

It is a dark woods with patches of sunlight that manage to make their way down between the 300 to 375 foot redwoods. There are several varieties of the sequoia genus in the U.S. This variety is the one commonly called "redwood". The other varieties are called sequoia. Redwood is part of the cypress tree family. They do not have resinous sap and do not have a piny scent - or any scent at all.

The cone of the massive coast redwood is about two thirds the size of those shown above. Big trees from little seed cones grow.

Redwood Creek provides background music in the silent forest. Silence persists because there are not enough food sources to attract birds. The tannin in the trees actually repels insects. Only about 50 varieties make their home here including pileated woodpeckers, Steller's jays and northern spotted owls. I only saw one bird, a winter wren, while I was there.

The ground is damp from frequent fogs that roll through. Oyster mushrooms are happy and abundant here on fallen logs.

Jennifer brought me to Muir Woods for the day. It was a contemplative trip. Visitors seem to talk in whispers, but it's because their voices are caught up in the quiet air.

For more postcard voices, stop by and see Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy!


Dorincard said...

Very interesting blogpost, and blog, too! :)

Postcardy said...

I would like to be in one of those little cabins in the woods.

viridian said...

Lovely - I remember my visit. Almost a religious feeling.

Snap said...

This card reminds of the D.H. Lawrence in New Mexico ... some little cabins in the mountains. A lovely get-a-way run by the University of NM. Memories!!!! Happy PFF

Carole said...

I'm a native Oregonian and have never heard of O'Brien. I had to look it up!

What a wonderful postcard, and fascinating information.

In answer to your question about the Yaquina Bridge, it is green (though not quite that green), or at least was at one time. I haven't seen the bridge in a few years.

Aimee Dars said...

Great postcard and photos!

Beth Niquette said...

There was a true-life crime book written about that place in Olalla--we lived there for three years or more years back in the 1980's. Our good Friend Cliff Hurd knew Matthew, the spouse of the woman who "cured" those people to death. He's mentioned in the book, Our dear Cliff flew away to heaven around the turn of the century.

Wow, did I schpeal on and on! Happy PFF!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Wow, what a story. I had not heard anything about it before either.

I love your Redwood postcard and shots too.

Take care,


Lydia said...

I enjoyed this post, and am determined to visit Muir Wood one day. In the meantime, there are three Giant Sequoias (Sequoiadendron, as opposed to the Sequoia Sempervirens)in our backyard that I treasure as members of my family. Last month I posted a short video of my two dogs enjoying the late Feb. snow out by the is here.