Welcome to Ariadne's Forest
Winter (December 2001) California Redwoods and Waterfalls:
The Berry Creek Falls Loop in the Forest of Big Basin State Park.
J. Zimmerman, Ph.D.
December: the redwood forest comes
alive in winter. Check out this December report on for birds,
animals, and flowers, as well as the swollen creeks and waterfalls among the
magnificent trees on
the Berry Creek Falls Loop Trail.
And see recent monthly reports:
overcast, rainy. Most the annual rainfall (average 48 inches) occurs.
Temperatures vary from highs in the 50's to lows in the 20's.
Thanks to the Park Service for their trail clearing and building!
hike on Christmas Day. Eight fellow hikers along the trail. Dozens of visitors
near Park H.Q. Cool, cloudy weather.
- Opal Creek full and running quickly. Recent high storm water appears to have squashed
up to three feet up the bank of the creek.
- Lots of fallen redwood branches and twigs in the first mile as the trail
ascends to the rim of the Big Basin. Many have leaves on all sides, showing they
fell from the top of the redwoods, apparently pruned by recent wind, hail, and
- 4 banana slugs in the miles 2-4. Where are the rest of them? Hiding under
the new redwood sorrel leaves?
- Many beautiful fungi, mushrooms, toadstools.
- Berry Creek in tremendous flood. The numerous white braids of Berry Creek
Falls flow together and fall in a continuous white cloak.
- American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) running through parts of Berry
Creek near the bridge.
- Silver Fall and Golden Cascades also magnificent with the swollen flow of
water. What a sight this must be in a storm, if I could survive all the falling
branches and trees!
- The rambunctious Creek is audible long after the trail leaves it.
- In the high chaparral, scattered small pinkish urn-shaped clusters of
manzanita blossoms. A bumble bee cruises them.
- Back in the mixed redwood forest, in a clearing, a flock of dark-eyed
("Oregon") junco buzz past like flying aces out of a Star Wars movie.
- A Townsend's warbler scuttles through low branches.
See also these pages
Forest and Tree Home,