Disclaimer: Great Gods, I wish they were mine! At least Jack and Daniel. I make no profit.
SG-1 stepped out of the ‘Gate and stood looking around the small clearing in which it stood. The surrounding forest had a sense of timelessness to it, and a certain power. The smallest tree they could see was at least twenty feet in diameter, the larger ones they could estimate at over seventy-five; they could barely see the tops of any of them. The sun was just rising at their location and was turning the mist that ghosted through the trees, and the ferns at their bases, to what looked like translucent, molten gold.
Colonel Jack O’Neill bent over and picked up a handful of needles and a small cone, examining them. “Holy ent forest. I know redwoods got big back when, but...wow.”
Carter pulled her attention away from the trees surrounding them. “Sir?”
Daniel glanced back toward his teammates. “These are...”
“Sequoia Sempervirens,” Jack startled the other members of his team with the statement. “Known commonly as Coast Redwoods. They originated in the Cretaceous period and only grow along the West Coast, ranging from the central coast of California up to the most southern part of Oregon. They only grow about twenty miles inland, because they depend on the coastal fog for water during the dry summers.”
Carter and Daniel were too surprised to speak, but Teal’c managed to do so for all of them. “I thought you were not overly fond of trees, O’Neill.”
“Generally, I’m not. But redwoods aren’t trees,” Jack replied with a sense of wonder, but somehow still managing to look slightly smug, bouncing slightly on his toes and gesturing outward with both hands, “they’re trees.” His team stared at him for another moment before he finally said, “What, I can't actually like some trees?”
“Sir, it's not that you actually like these trees, it's the fact that you just spouted off their taxonomy, origin and natural range,” Carter said, still looking at her CO as if someone had hit her between the eyes with something heavy. "And, well yeah, the fact that you actually like these trees."
“Uh...right...what she said, Jack,” Daniel added with the same look.
“'What she said', Daniel? You mean I actually have you at a loss for words?” Jack said, grinning. “Just remember that you people don't know everything there is to know about me. I have to have a few surprises left.”
“You are a man of many surprises, O'Neill,” Teal'c said, giving his friend a nod of acknowledgment. Then, with the slightest upward quirk of his lips, he said, “Indeed, you have caught us with our feet affixed.”
“Flat footed, T, flat footed,” Jack rolled his eyes, giving his friend the expected reaction. Then, grinning again, “Okay, people, let's make camp and get these surveys started. We've got trees to explore and samples to take.”
Jack stepped down from the gate platform onto the needle covered ground and took a deep breath of the unique scent of the trees and smiled smugly. Having people underestimate him intellectually came in damn handy at times. He had to admit though, that at it's best, it was just plain fun. Besides, he really was looking forward to exploring these trees.
I was thinking of my favorite place (anywhere redwoods grow) and picturing Colonel O'Neill there, and this drabble came to mind. Go figure, first fic I ever actually finish and post, and it's a drabble. I gave the estimate of a seventy-five foot diameter for the largest tree based on a family circle of trees in Henry Cowell State Park, in the Santa Cruz area of California. One of the ways these trees reproduce is to send up sprouts from burls. When the parent tree dies, the trees that sprouted from it remain in a ring. The earliest fossils of Sequoia Sempervirens are from the Cretacious period, though the earliest known species of redwoods are from the Jurassic period. Here is a website for those interested in learning more about redwoods and a Google search using “sequoia sempervirens” will turn up a lot more.