Morning photo: Redwoods

In the land of giants …

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Muir Woods.

FRISCO — Almost within shouting distance of the Bay Area metropolis, an ancient grove of trees stands homage to John Muir, one of the fathers of the American conservation movement. Some of the trees are more than 1,000 years old, which means they were already giants when Sir Francis Drake explored the nearby Pacific coastline. The Muir Woods are a classic story of conservation activism, backed by philanthropy, as a local family bought the land when the forests were threatened by loggers, later conveying it to the National Park Service. On our weekend visit, the grove was bustling with visitors, even on Super Bowl Sunday.

The redwoods aren’t exactly easy to photograph. They are tall, to say the least, and even with a wide-angle lens, it’s nearly impossible to capture them from top to bottom. And since they grow in cool, dark places, the light is tricky — deep shadows interspersed with bright patches of sunlight. I’m not totally satisfied with images I came back with, but that’s OK; it gives me a good reason to go back.

Looking up ...

Looking up …

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A hiker along the main trail in Muir Woods adds a sense of scale to the scene.

A tiny violet adds color to the shady forest floor in the Muir Woods redwood grove.

A tiny violet adds color to the shady forest floor in the Muir Woods redwood grove.

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Tall trees.

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Along the trail.

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Fire and lightning don’t faze the giant redwoods.

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