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• Wednesday, May 05th, 2010

When I was 9 in 1940 I fell in love with the mammoth sequoia, Grizzly Giant, in the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite.

Grizzly Giant was then over 250 times older than I, over 30 times taller, and held over 600 times more water than my body.

I returned this year, 70 years later, for another date. I had four surprises:

Grizzly Giant is both gay and straight, having female cones on the higher branches and male cones on the lower.

He/she produces 1,000,000 seeds so tiny that it would take 100,000 seeds to weigh as much as my hand.

Grizzly Giant has relatives today growing indigenously in 75 groves in the Sierra Nevadas and before the last Ice Age had relatives growing throughout North America.

I had no idea before my 2010 visit that I could purchase 3 small sequoia trees in dry packets. I flew them with me to Illinois and have planted and watered them here. Grizzly Giant’s relatives now, after a 100,000 year absence, are again here.

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