One of the distinguishing features of life in the Bay Area is the presence of the world’s tallest trees, Sequoia sempervirens, coast redwoods. Now, everything you might want to know about redwoods can be found in two new books. Coast Redwood: A Natural and Cultural History, edited by John Evarts and Marjorie Popper (Cachuma Press), describes the origins, distribution, life history, and ecology of the coast redwood. It also covers recent struggles to save old-growth redwood groves, and contains 230 color photos. According to the book, our giant tree has ancestors that go back to the Cretaceous period, 135 to 65 million years ago. In Giants in the Earth, editor Peter Johnstone (Heyday Books) takes us on a literary tour of coast redwoods and their close relatives, the giant sequoias of the Sierra Nevada. From native storytellers to modern poets, this anthology presents an engaging record of human history in the redwoods as seen through the eyes of an impressive array of authors, including John Muir, Mary Austin, Jack Kerouac, Julia Butterfly Hill, and Tom Wolfe, to name a few. (You will receive a free copy of Giants if you join the Friends of Bay Nature with a donation of $100 or more.)
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