Today our crew from Cornell had the pleasure of visiting Blodgett forest located near Georgetown, California. Operated by the University of California at Berkeley's Center for Forestry the property measures over 4000 acres. We got a tour of the facilities by our old friend Ken. There was on going forest management and we were able to see a scary machine called the "masticator." Basically a giant grinding disk, we watched as the machine reduced a living tree to wood chips in a matter of minutes. The reason to convert a living tree into chips, as explained to us, was to manage the amount of "fuel" on the ground that would be available during a fire. Although I've spent many years in California I'm still learning the complexities of fire ecology. 

The "Masticator" - Photo Colin Crilley

After leaving Blodgett we rolled down into the central valley and visited our friend Teri who works at the LA Moran Reforestation Center. The Center is dedicated to preserving the genetic material of native tree species of California. The Center maintains a seed bank with millions of seeds in a freezer. We have been contributing seeds to the seed bank over the past years and we were stoked to learn more about the center first-hand. 

Teri showing us X-ray images used to determine if the seeds contain viable germ

Teri inside the Seed Bank - 0 Degrees Fahrenheit

Left to Right: Jeff, Teri, Colin, Jake

After we left Davis we drove a solid three hours to Fresno, bought 500 dollars of food and drove up the mountain into the Sierra. Just in time to catch the sunset looking west. I've been experimenting with High Dynamic Range photography: basically a combination of various exposures. This is one...its a new style. Whatcha think? 

Sunset on the Central Valley from near Pinehurst