Thornewood Hike
Woodside, California

Monday, September 1, 2008

By Peter Y. Chou

Preface: Monday, September 1, 2008 was Labor Day, and Stanford Library was closed. So my friend took me hiking again. We drove to Old La Honda Road and hiked at Thornewood Open Space Preserve in Woodside. I recall coming here many years ago and visited the Thornewood House and Schilling Lake. The 167-acre Thornewood Open Space Preserve is rich in history, and includes the site of the historic Thornewood estate. San Franciscan Julian Thorne bought the Woodside property in 1908, and in the 1920s architect Gardner Dailey designed and built the Thornewood house. Thorne retained his estate and sold the remaining acreage to August Schilling of the Schilling Spice Company, for whom Schilling Lake is named. The Preserve's 3/4-mile trail gradually winds through sunlit canopies of big-leaf maples and moss-covered oaks, It ends under the shade of the grand redwoods that surround Schilling Lake. The photos were taken with a Canon PowerShot A590IS digital camera. The haikus were written on the trail or soon after the hike.

Click on Photos for Enlarged Images

Monday, September 1, 2008, 1:18 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Sign at entrance of Thornewood

The creek is dried up
but the tall redwoods welcome
me in on this hike.
Monday, September 1, 2008, 1:20 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Logged-off Redwood amidst progeny

Old Redwood logged off—
but his young children stand
strong surrounding him.

Monday, September 1, 2008, 1:40 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Hazardous ravine crossing

No water in this
ravine except a jumble
of rocks in the creek.
Monday, September 1, 2008, 1:46 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Moss rock with grass growing

Rolling stones gather
no moss— but this moss rock
has grass growing on it.

Monday, September 1, 2008, 1:55 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Hazardous ravine crossing

I cross this ravine
with great care like a babe
just learning to walk.
Monday, September 1, 2008, 1:57 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Hazardous ravine crossed

Mission accomplished—
Made it to the other side
of this rocky ravine.

Monday, September 1, 2008, 1:58 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
S-shaped root on the trail

S-shaped root on ground—
looks like a serpent— Ssh!
Silence in these woods.
Monday, September 1, 2008, 2:00 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Dennis Martin Creek: Logged redwood stump
looks like a sculpture by wind & rain

Sculpted by the wind
and creek waters, old Redwood
meditates on the rocks.
Monday, September 1, 2008, 2:04 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Sunshine through the tall redwoods

Lower branches dead
but the top is flowering
drinking the sunlight!
Monday, September 1, 2008, 2:08 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Traces of an old sawmill site

The sawmill is gone—
only the foundation remains
and logged redwoods in pain.

Monday, September 1, 2008, 2:17 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
A logged-off Redwood still growing

Logged-off Redwood continues
to grow from its branch upward.
Monday, September 1, 2008, 2:18 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
A logged-off Redwood still growing

They chopped me off— but
my branch will be my trunk
and I'll keep on growing!
Monday, September 1, 2008, 2:28 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Big-leaf Maple glowing in sunlight

Big-Leaf Maple glows
in the afternoon sunlight—
dancing flood of green!
Monday, September 1, 2008, 3:00 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
What's that sound on the tree tops?

Creak, creak— tree ready
to topple?— No, they're
dancing cheek to cheek!

Monday, September 1, 2008, 3:05 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Ravine too hard to navigate across

The slope is too steep
to navigate across this
treachous ravine!
Monday, September 1, 2008, 3:15 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Fallen Redwood with branches
jutting out like sharp spikes

A fallen warrior—
Your spikes may injure but
you're no match for the wind.

Monday, September 1, 2008, 3:20 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Logged Redwood with wide opening

Eyes wide shut— but your
mouth wide open catching
creatures running by you!
Monday, September 1, 2008, 3:45 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Schilling Lake remains

The swans are long gone
so are the wood ducks—
only algae and cattails.

Monday, September 1, 2008, 3:50 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Bench view of Schilling Lake

Moment of silence
on Schilling Lake and its
glorious past grandeur.
Monday, September 1, 2008, 4:00 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Seemingly dead Redwood keeps growing

Lower branches are dead
but this Redwood continues
its climb to the skies.

Monday, September 1, 2008, 4:18 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Giant Redwood (30 feet girth)

Giant Redwood
Sentinel of this forest—
30 feet wide at your base!
Monday, September 1, 2008, 4:20 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Giant Redwood reaching skyward.
Recalling Robert Browning's verse:

Ah! a man's reach should
exceed his grasp or
what is a heaven for!

Monday, September 1, 2008, 4:22 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Giant Redwood sprouting skyward

You're sprouting like a
fountain of eternal light
singing to the skies!
Monday, September 1, 2008, 4:35 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
View of Mt. Diablo from old home site
now covered with St. John's Wort plants

The view must have been
quite scenic when the old home
was on this hilltop.

Monday, September 1, 2008, 4:45 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Base of twin Redwoods

At the base of twin
Redwoods— shaped like a "V"
for vertical growth.
Monday, September 1, 2008, 4:46 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Twin Redwoods midsection

They were once joined—
now they appear parallel
mirroring each other.

Monday, September 1, 2008, 4:48 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Twin Redwoods at the top

How come we can't dance
faster?— it's because our feet
are joined together!
Monday, September 1, 2008, 4:58 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Old fountain site in the woods

This land is now dry—
but once upon a time there
was a fountain here.

Monday, September 1, 2008, 5:00 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Another view of Old fountain site

A fountain blossomed
here in the glorious past
where water flowed freely.
Monday, September 1, 2008, 5:15 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Three fallen Redwoods on the trail

Three fallen Redwoods
like the witches convening
in Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Monday, September 1, 2008, 5:17 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Roots of giant fallen redwood

Once you stood so tall—
now that you've fallen
your roots are fully exposed.
Monday, September 1, 2008, 5:20 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Trail is blocked by fallen redwoods

The trail is blocked by
fallen redwoods as I duck
under to get across.

Monday, September 1, 2008, 1:18 pm
Thornewood Preserve, Woodside
Waterhole by the ravine

Ravine waterhole
that quenches thirst of birds
and deer that come here.

— Peter Y. Chou, Mountain View, September 1, 2008

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© Peter Y. Chou, Wisdom Portal
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (11-12-2008)