Tag Archives: John Steinbeck

“Dawn Redwood” – Edwards Gardens, Toronto

"Ancient Redwood" - Edwards Gardens, Toronto

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.”
― John Steinbeck

This is the second dawn redwood (Metasequoia) I have seen in Ontario recently, both were in a botanical gardens setting. The first was at the Niagara Botanical Gardens and the specimen above was at Edwards Gardens, in Toronto, the home of the Toronto Botanical Gardens. They look like living fossils but are actually fast growing and not as old as you would suspect.

The species was discovered in Lichuan county in the Hubei province of China in 1944 and was soon adopted in North America as a popular ornamental. That would explain why they are found in various botanical gardens. Also, because they get so large, they would not be suitable for residential properties.

This one is said to have been planted in 1960, on a site chosen to ensure it would would be bathed in the early morning sunlight on June 20 each year, the birthday of the wife of the gardener who planted it.

I felt this would look nice as a painted piece, so took some artistic liberty with Photoshop, mainly to hide the ugly chain link fence directly behind the tree and to enhance the texture of the bark.

As John Steinbeck states so well above, there is a ‘feel’ to redwoods that is difficult to communicate.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 82 mm
1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 220

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