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The Sierras poster


Do behold the King Sequoia! Behold! Behold! seems all I can say. Some time ago I left all for Sequoia and have been and am at his feet, fasting and praying for light, for is he not the greatest light in the woods, in the world? Where are such columns of sunshine, tangible, accessible, terrestrialized? John Muir (Quote on the back of this fine art with some great interp. info for your learning pleasure.)

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36" x 24"

Giant Sequoias First Edition

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36" x 24"

Giant Sequoias Laminated $35

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Small is beautiful, but sometimes bigger IS better.

Painted by award winning artist John C. Pitcher

So you can see the evolution of this art, I leave these drafts up that we played around with before settling on the final art design.    See below. 

This way you can see how our art evolves.

Here is our Good Nature Color Draft of final art:


Here is where we started: 

The sketch below with the bear and birds is an example of another view John C. Pitcher painted for the proposed Giant Sequoia color sketches.  I leave it here  so you can see how he played around with different ways to capture the species we want to show.

New Giant Sequoia Poster

Draft Layout

by John C. Pitcher


Draft Species List

Welcome to the first drafts of Good Nature Publishing's the new Giant Sequoia Ecosystem poster.  Artist John C. Pitcher has taken time to lay out art. 

The purpose of this page is to introduce format of new poster, artist's reflections on the limits of space on the page, scientists review and species list that serve as a starter kit for our art and interpretive material due to be published February 2008.

Thanks to Cindy Miner, Communication Director for the opportunity to create great art with John C. Pitcher.  And thanks to Roland Giller PSW Research Station Public Affairs for helping connect me to scientists Nate Stephenson and Malcolm North.

1.  FORMAT:  Our format for this poster is supposed to be similar to the Mt. St. Helen's art  John C. Pitcher painted:

Click here and scroll to bottom of page to see art as example.


Here are my steps to a great ecosystem poster: 

1. Species list
2. Tight sketch in color  (see above)

3. Edits by design team

4. Full color art.

5. Graphic design, addition of interpretive material for back of poster

6. Printing on FSC certified and recycled papers.

7. An illustrated narrative of Giant Sequoia ecosystem for PDF and back of poster.

Nate Stephenson (USGS BRD) graciously supplied us with the main list we are using to figure out what plants and animals PSW Research Station wants to show for this cool new art.

Malcolm North (USDA FS PSW Research Station) added his edits.  I leave you to read Malcolm's letter and Nate's list here:

Malcolm writes:

"Nate, as usual, has done a great job getting most all of the species I would also list. Here are a few additions and the reason for considering them."

"Lodgepole chipmunk Eutamias speciosus My experience has been this is the most common small mammal you see in the Sierra including in Sequoia groves."


"Northern flying squirrel Glaucomys sabrinus Nocturnal so few people see them but they are the main prey species on the spotted owl and because of their gliding might be a cool image to include."

Waterleaf phacelia Phacelia hydrophylloides very common

I usually find snow brush Ceanothus cordulatus more common than deer brush Ceanothus integerrimus

I find red fir and incense cedar fairly common in sequoia groves.

Nate left off ponderosa pine and Jeffrey pine which are also present—perhaps because they look identical--ponderosa is generally found below 6500 and Jeffrey above and the groves are from 3000-8500’ so either or rarely both can be present potentially making this confusing to the public.

I would suggest at least one of the sequoia’s be drawn with a large fire scar (referred to as a catface) because fire is such a dominant influence on groves and appears essential for their seeds to regenerate.

For groves to photograph I’d suggest Calveras Big Tree State Park, the Grant Grove (Kings Canyon NP) or the Congress Group in Giant Forest (Sequoia NP).

(End of Malcolm's edits)


Here is a draft list from Nate Stephenson, USGS BRD @ Sequoia Kings that will serve as our starter species list: (changes or additions welcome.) Since we cannot paint everything on here, I would like to get a sense of essential species for this artwork. 


Sequoia grove species list

* indicates interesting animals, but rarely seen by visitors.


White-headed woodpecker

Pileated woodpecker

Mountain chickadee

Common raven

Dark-eyed (Oregon) junco

Steller's Jay

Red-breasted nuthatch

Spotted owl*

Various warblers that I don't even try to identify!


Mule deer

Golden-mantled ground squirrel

Chickaree (Douglas squirrel)

Black bear



Mountain lion*

Reptiles & amphibians:

Western rattlesnake

Ensatina* (a beautiful salamander that mostly stays well-hidden)



White fir (Abies concolor), by far the numerically dominant tree in sequoia groves.

Sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), much less abundant than white fir, but usually numerically dominant to giant sequoia.

Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum).

Occasional trees:

Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii)

Incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens)

California black oak (Quercus kelloggii)

Red fir (Abies magnifica)


Chinquapin (Chrysolepis sempervirens)

Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus)

Sierra gooseberry (Ribes roezlii)

Deer brush (Ceanothus integerrimus)


Shinleaf (Pyrola picta)

Blue lips (Collinsia torreyi)

Pine violet (Viola lobata)

Broad-leaved lupine (Lupinus latifolius)

White-flowered hawkweed (Hieracium albiflorum)

Yellow-throated gilia (Linanthus montanus)

(Carex multicaulis)

Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea)

Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum)

Trail plant (Adenocaulon bicolor)