Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Slug Kisses

A project makes you think of doing things you never thought of doing before.  Not kissing banana slugs.  The kids do that all the time.  Though never before have the slugs puckered up so nicely.
No, it was something else.  Something bigger.  Taller.  We waylaid a ranger on our hike along the Brown Creek Trail in Prairie Creek Redwoods Park and asked what mammals there might be here in this deep and muffled wood.
Full of trees that can swallow a kid whole.

"Well," the ranger said, "At the top of Douglas fir trees lives the red tree vole.  It spends its entire life there.  Multiple generations live in one tree."

So I thought...hmm...if we want to see a red tree vole we're going to have to climb a Douglas fir.  I'd been planning to bring the audio version of The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring on our trip about the folks who first climbed giant redwoods and rappelled down into them.

I asked Evelyn what she thought of learning to climb big trees.  She jumped around saying "boing boing boing."  I've found a tree climbing school in Atlanta, and a tree climbing adventure outfit in Oregon, but nothing closer to home so far.  Very disappointing.  Like a big ol' slug kiss on our dreams.  Going to keep trying.


Indian said...

Multiple generations in one tree? Are these Indian voles?!

Kristin said...

Great photos--especially beautiful old trees. That slug sure is puckered nicely.

The right column of your blog looks refreshed and I can't believe how many mammals you've listed already. You sure have been busy.

If you could find a canopy tour in CA you might skirt climbing a tree to see a vole.

Susan said...

Kristin, great idea! The only redwood canopy tour in the world is in Santa Cruz. I'll call and ask if they happen by any Douglas firs we could peek into.

Judith said...

Susan, environmental activists are experts at climbing big trees. I once attended a training to learn how to climb (and sit in) big trees. Not sure I could pass it on, but I know the folks you should meet to learn the skill.

Susan said...

Judith, send on the contact info! I did come across a seminar on resisting forceful extraction for tree sitters.

Anonymous said...

Me too! Climbing big trees, that is. - Marina

patricia said...

Look at the crazy adventures a project can lead to!

Was the place in Oregon the same one that has treehouses to stay in? Our friends have monkey-girls who love to climb trees, and they adored staying at that place.

Speaking of slugs, on the AOHL camping trip one three-year-old (do you know Shea?) took to not only kissing banana slugs, but excessively fondling them. The slime would not come off her hands and face! Not with mere soap and water anyway! Those kissing slugs leave their mark...