Cliff Berkowitz / Tuesday, July 21 @ 9:01 a.m. / Trails
Today Emily and I spoke with Ashley Taylor, Recreation Coordinator with the City of Eureka Parks and Recreation Department. The will be a full day of free activities for the whole family to enjoy. More info at getoutandplay.com. We also talked about the Eureka Waterfront Trail Project. This will extend what is now the Hikshari Trail fully around the city of Eureka from one end to the other on the waterfront. The projected completion date is 2018. Emily also mentioned that the upcoming Humboldt Bay Marathon is looking for volunteers.
Larry Trask / Monday, July 20 @ 10:23 a.m. / Music
It has been four years since Wilco last released a studio record (2011's "The Whole Love"), which I think we can all agree is far too long. But, as of last Thursday -- and quite out of the blue even to devoted industry watchers -- a NEW WILCO ALBUM was released. And it was released in true Wilco fashion: nobody knew it was coming, it was released on a Thursday (traditionally, new records are released on Tuesdays), it's hilariously named "Star Wars" for no apparent reason, it has kitty artwork, AND it's available as a free download from the Wilco website!
Why did Wilco do all this crazy stuff? Frontman Jeff Tweedy explains things thus: ""Why release an album this way and why make it free? Well, the biggest reason, and I'm not sure we even need any others, is that it felt like it would be fun,"
You can get it right now, the whole entire album, for $0.00, simply by going to the Wilco Website and entering your email address (which they promise not to sell or spam). But hurry! The free download is only available for 30 days.
Mike Dronkers / Thursday, July 16 @ 5:15 p.m. / In Studio
Blue Lake legends Clay Smith and Greg Lojko of the Rubberneckers break their silence to play live on KHUM, backed up by Andy Powell and Pete Ciotti.
A frank discussion ensued about how Smith cheated the health system, how Lojko dealt with a shirtless Courtney Love, and the city of Blue Lake's unspoken blackout of Rubberneckers-themed civic infrastructure.
Photos by Andrew Goff, full gallery here.
Cliff Berkowitz / Thursday, July 16 @ 8:41 a.m. / Nature
This morning I spoke with Denise Seeger of the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Coming up on July 26th will be a whole bunch of great activities for the whole family. They will be launching an interactive phone app to use at the Refuge from 1pm - 3pm. From 3 till 4 explore freshwater ponds and frog habitats and from 4pm 7pm its "Seasons of the Refuge" with art journaling the habitats of humboldt bay. It is also the 5th annual Grandparents & Grandkids day.
Mike Dronkers / Wednesday, July 15 @ 10:34 a.m. /
Cliff Berkowitz / Wednesday, July 15 @ 8:58 a.m. / Love
A wonderful article in the Huffington Post this morning about Tuna the Potbelly Pig and Jack the Dog. This interspecies love story takes place in Texas of all places. Full Story
Author photo of Headwaters Forest
John Montague spends a lot of time measuring trees. Like mountain climbers, tornado chasers and big wave surfers, there's always something new out there to find. And although he's an amateur tree nerd, it appears that he just made an important discovery.
"When you're talking about tree champions, you're usually referring to either the height of a tree, the total wood volume, or in this case, the diameter of the tree," he told KHUM today.
And Montague says there's a new fattest tree at an undisclosed location on the North Coast.
According to his Facebook profile:
Happy to announce that I discovered a new diameter champion for redwoods! Diameter at breast height checks in at 29.2', besting the old record of 27.4'. The ground circumference of 116' is also a record for redwoods. The square footage of the ground footprint is 860 square feet (also a record for redwoods). The horizontal axis of 43.3' is a record for all trees. An exciting find indeed. I've named the tree "Jupiter".
"There are a handful of people in the tree community who you can turn to in a situation like this who will help you verify measurements independently," Montague said.
After taking preliminary measurements, Montague sought the help of redwood prodigy Zane Moore (check Moore out on NPR here).
"This is the widest known single-stem tree," Moore told LoCO today. "It's the most impressive redwood base I've ever seen and one of the most largest coastal redwoods known, by volume."
Moore said measuring a massive tree is no simple task. "In this case, we did a four-hour basal survey of this tree to calculate the 860 square feet. footprint." Moore added that this work requires all kinds of survey equipment.
"We use lasers, poles, prisms, tripods, the whole nine yards. These trees aren't circular by any stretch. We did independent measurements. John measured the tree and didn't tell me what he found, then I measured the tree and our numbers lined up."
"It's 254 feet tall which, for a redwood, is medium," Montague told KHUM. "But this redwood competes with, and beats, all of the giant sequoias in a couple of examples, and square footage is second in all single-stem trees."
Secrecy surrounds some of the world's champion trees. "It's a no-no in the tree community to post pictures of champion trees," Montague wrote. Betraying its location poses a threat to the tree itself such that experts often keep champions' locations closely guarded. All Montague will say is that Jupiter is on public land.
The tree's age is a mystery.
We don't know the answer, but we suspect that it is a candidate for oldest living redwood. based on its size... but [verification] is something that we can't do on our own. I've passed the information along to certain people in the community who age trees and have it on their radar. We're hopeful that they get out there and find out how old it is.
Moore speculated that Jupiter is "probably 2400 or 2500 years old, but there's no way for me to tell. It's had a lot of trauma to its crown, but it's still growing."
So what happens when an amateur tree enthusiast makes a discovery like this? Do you call Guinness Book of World Records?
"You know, for me, I'm satisfied with reaching out to Zane Moore and getting his verification, and alerting the public and letting them know. The rest ... things will play out as they play out. I've alerted a handful of other people in the tree community, and they can take that information and do what they want with it."
Montague will soon head back into the forest.
"I'm convinced there's a bigger one out there. The pipe dream was the 30 foot redwood. When that pipe dream started, the biggest one was 26 feet and then I found one that was 27.2, and then Mario Vaden found one that was 27.4, and now we have this 29.2. So there's more out there to find. And I really would like to find that 30 footer."
Hear the full KHUM interview below.
[This article has been modified from its original version to include quotes from Zane Moore.]
Illustration © Zeke Smith