Mike demonstrating the proper
down and dirty technique for
giant sequoia photography.

Over thousands of years, these
trees have grown next to, and
sometimes intertwined with each
other.  This one is known as the
Faithful Couple.
Mariposa Grove is home to about
500 mature giant sequoia trees,
second in stature, but larger in
mass than their cousin, the giant
Just one branch of the Grizzly Giant
is 7 ft. in diameter, larger in girth
than any of the non-sequoia trees
in the entire Mariposa Grove.
The clothespin tree has an opening that is large
enough for a semi-truck to drive through!
Many of the trees have fire scars, but giant sequoia bark is
 fire resistant.  A mature tree has bark 2 to 3 ft. thick,
 so it’s also remarkably disease and insect resistant.


A souvenir postcard from 1899 shows some 40 Cavalry
officers and their horses on top of and alongside
the Fallen Monarch.  The US Army Cavalry kept
law and order in Yosemite from its founding in 1890
until the National Park Service was created in 1916.
The Cavalry often posed for publicity photos
under the huge trees of Mariposa Grove to promote
tourism in Yosemite, and thus business for the
Southern Pacific Railway.
The Fallen Monarch today.  Even though it has
 been on its side for centuries, the tree has barely
decayed, and no plants are growing on it.  The
acidic, thick bark makes it an inhospitable nursery
log, but a true survivor.