Redwood Fairy Rings – Canyon

This was a major Saklan Miwok Village back in the day, right at this intersection of Canyon Road and Pinehurst.

There were camps and villages all over the place. Up the road in Moraga at Indian Creek there was one. Saint Mary’s College was built on one.

Walk through this gate into another world.

You can’t keep a good kid down.

A redwood forest is a place, both ancient and timeless, with gigantic sprawling ferns, lushgreen moss, and towering trees. The forest has flourished along the North Coast for 20 million years with individual coast redwoods living up to 2000 years.

A fairy ring is a common name for a group of redwood trees growing in a circle, usually around the stump of a logged old-growth tree.

After being cut down, a new generation of trees sprout from the roots of the fallen redwood, often creating a near-perfect circle or ring. This is one of the ways redwoods regenerate, giving them the tremendous advantage of already having a full root system compared to species that reproduce through seed.

We counted 18 trees growing from this huge stump.

Because redwoods crown sprout from stumps and the roots of fallen ancestors, the age of such a forest is almost inconceivable—while a 32-foot broad, 300-foot tall tree might represent a millennium of vertical growth, the genetics and rootstock below might span many thousands, if not millions, of years.

A vast forest known as the Moraga Redwoods once covered the valley that is now Canyon. But it took little more than fifteen years, from 1845 to 1860,
for crews of loggers to level the entire forest.

An ugly scene for today’s environmentalists to contemplate.

These redwoods and people built San Francisco and the East Bay.

A handheld bedrock mortar found at a Boy Scout campout at Saint Mary’s College in the fifties.

To quote Gregg Castro, Salinan Nation Tribal Chair

“The people came into the world, and they have been an integral part of it since the dawn of time. Though much has been lost in the last two and a half centuries, the knowledge lies deep within each of us. Like a mountain spring, it eventually works its way back to the surface. Knowledge, wisdom, courage, truth, love, strength, respect, forgiveness, integrity, patience, humility – they all are bubbling out to quench our thirst” Just like the mighty Redwood Sequoiadendron Giganteum