Lunch in Big Tree Park. No raccoons invited!

I have a lot of loose ends to take care of this weekend.  Anticipating a Thanksgiving house full,  front-loading quiet and mental relaxation strikes me as a good idea.  So I had lunch today with a very big tree—not in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, but Glendora.   A very small park with a very large tree is five minutes from my office and offers the perfect noontime retreat. The name of the park amuses me—Big Tree Park.

There is a big tree in the park, but “big” compared to what? California sierra redwoods are the largest trees in the world, between 250 and 300 feet tall.  The largest tree in the world is the General Grant tree, located in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park.  The General stands 271 feet tall and is 28 feet in diameter.

The tree in Big Tree Park isn’t a giant of these proportions, but it is still impressive.  The Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) was planted in this spot by Edgar J. Owens in 1884.  What do you think of this fabulous root system?  A superb focal point for some well needed quiet contemplation!

And after my experience with nesting raccoons falling at my feet from our front yard redwood, I’ll enjoy my picnic lunch from an adjacent bench.  It may take me a while before I’m ready to sit under a tree!


16 thoughts on “Lunch in Big Tree Park. No raccoons invited!

    1. It must be wonderful to be able to paint, Sharyn. I do admire your talent. As much as I enjoy working and playing with words, there is something very special with the stories you can tell in painting or more visual work of art. I am glad I could share this particular tree with you! D

      1. The first step in becoming a painter is to paint: it’s just like writing — you do it because you want to do it and you get better at it. I didn’t do well in art in school — no one ever loved what I did, but I loved to do it and returned to it when I was in my thirties. Eighteen years later I’m beginning to sell work. What drew me to painting was playing with color — I can mix paints for hours. Now I’m trying to learn a little more about line and shading,

        1. You have a very creative soul…that’s obvious! I have been wanting to try mosaics. I have a ton of broken pottery and shards of this and that I’ve saved for years. I think I need to just start! And as for your paintings, although I only see the on-line pictures, I really do love them. Isn’t it wonderful in the complex day-to-day that there are outlets we can just get lost in! I enjoy your stories, too, so I hope you keep sharing about your creative process…I like to hear how others find their Muse! D

  1. Dear Debra,
    Truly, I’ve never seen a tree with roots like this before. I’ve seen photographs of Africa baobabs and their shape is unexpected but this tree in Big Tree Park seems like an old man sitting with the paraphernalia of his life spread around his feet as he rocks in his chair, settled for the night.


    1. Oh Dee! My goodness! Your observation is just wonderful…I’ll think of the old man now every time I sit in the park and contemplate! That’s just beautiful. In just a small way, I think that’s what I do when I sit and stare. I sit quietly and pray, or just stare and let the “paraphernalia”–some of it the burdens of the day–and I let them go. But you’ve given me an absolutely beautiful and peaceful image that I’ll hold on to. Thank you so much! D

    1. I hope your interest means you’re feeling better, Kate. Isn’t Dee insightful! I am really caught up in her added imagery, too. It just makes me smile when others can extend my personal observations and embellish with meaning! I think the big tree will now belong to others, too! 🙂 D

  2. I’ll second the motion on Dee’s image. What a magnificent tree. It has so much character and I could only imagine the stories it would tell. Wouldn’t it be fun to use it in a creative writing class? Middle school children and high schoolers? Or, for that matter, any one learning or practicing the craft of wordmanship?

    Are those shadows from the tree on the pavement, Debra. Oh my, but you have me filled with wonder tonight.

    1. I’m so glad you caught the spirit of the tree, Penny. I hope Dee realizes how much she contributed to the imagery and wonder! Yes, those are the shadows of the tree’s canopy on the pavement. I really couldn’t even begin to capture all of the tree’s grace. But I know that I’ll be visiting more often now, and have quite a talk with it! I’ll say hello from you, too. D

  3. Ellen

    I’m glad you discovered the park — I know it too. I think the ability to stand or sit anywhere beneath it would be a challenge given the root system.


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kristina. I also love Yosemite and Sequoia National Park, but admittedly haven’t been to either in a very long time. We have some amazingly beautiful natural wonders in California, don’t we?

I always enjoy hearing from you!

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