Evergreens with a rough, gray bark: water-dripping cypresses

Wet cypress on Point Reyes LightHouse Trail

Wet Point Reyes Lighthouse Trail on a foggy November morning

Walking from the parking lot at the west end of the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to the Point Reyes Lighthouse, you will pass by several cypress trees before getting to the visitor center and the 300 steps leading down to the lighthouse. Fog is common at Point Reyes and causes fog drip wherever trees stand. When I walked the lighthouse trail on a foggy November morning in 2017, water was dripping from their needles—and the from the ferns and mosses thriving within the branchwork of these coniferous trees. The picture shows the wet, gray bark of a mature cypress next to the wet trail. These cypresses grow on the north side of a shadowing rock wall—exposing them mainly to winds from the north. The trees show a south-bent structure. Their trunks lean away from ocean winds, which blow over the ragged coastal headland southward from the sea west of the eleven-mile-long heavy-surf beach.
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Point Reyes and beyond