11/30/2009

Trimming The Christmas Tree Coastal Style


Here in big tree country it takes big ladders and a small army of elves not afraid of heights to get ready for the holidays. Look up, way up, and witness the trimming of the Christmas tree in the coastal community of Sooke - the village with volunteers extraordinaire, and a huge brightly lit Douglas fir in the middle of town. This close to winter solstice the giant, festive tree is a welcome beacon - a living, growing lighthouse guiding us through the darkest days of the year.

On the left hand side of the photos you can see the Loggers Pole, a testament to the past when loggers tackled the largest trees on earth largely unaided by machines. How appropriate that the two towering Douglas fir trees have been left to grow amidst the development surrounding them. They stand as living examples of the trees that once covered this region, and that helped build this town and province.

Plus the property the trees are on is part of Evergreen Mall, so it's nice to have at least a couple of evergreens around. Just ask the people down the street at Cedar Grove Mall about mascot trees. Their goodwill ambassadors were removed to make way for progress prompting more than one person to suggest a name change. Cedar-less Grove Mall was proposed, but there is no grove either so Cedar Grove-less Mall was deemed more appropriate.



The little people stringing lights in Sooke's giant Holiday Tree give a human scale to the height of these green towers. The individual to the left of the trunk was swinging around on a rope rather freely, possibly having fun (must be a volunteer). Click on the photo for a larger version and see how many tree elves you can find - there are several up there. You can also see how large the trunk of the tree is 2/3 of the way up.

Evergreen Mall's mascot trees gracing the center of Sooke are 'only' around 30m/100ft and seem huge. The Red Creek Fir outside of Port Renfrew is about 74m/242ft tall. Historically, trees over 120m/394ft were reported. It's hard to wrap your grey matter around living columns of such proportions. Has anyone living today seen Douglas fir tree of this size? Will anyone ever see one again?

O.K. Somebody flick the switch and light this sucker up !

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