Photo: Sean O'Connor / Freesolo Photography
Peter Beland of The Smithsonian Magazine has a fascinating look at Ascending The Giants, a unique "adventure group" led by arborists Brian French and Will Koomjian. The duo climbs the tallest trees to learn more about the wildlife that lives on the highest branches:
Up in the branches of this goliath, I felt the tree sway back and forth with the wind, an unsettling sensation. From the ground, the nine-foot-wide tree almost seemed sturdy enough to support the earth below it and not the other way around. But from my precarious vantage point in the canopy, I spied a forest floor littered with fallen giants.
“Oh, it’s at least 500 years old; it’s been through plenty of storms," said ATG co-founder Brian French, in an offhand attempt to both reassure and terrify me as we chatted 200 feet up in the tree. "Of course, I could be wrong.” We shot the breeze some more, and as the musk of ancient fir and moss wafted into my nostrils, I was reminded that this is a living organism.
Previously on Neatorama: 10 Most Magnificent Trees in the World