While vacationing in Kentucky, my wife and I stopped by the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. (It was a quick diversion from the bourbon-oriented and horse-oriented activities that tend to dominate any visit to northern Kentucky.)
Anyway, we didn't have time to see the entire place, but we did come across some very interesting trees. These trees were interesting for a reason that I thought was amazing.
They were once thought to be extinct.
In other words, despite the accumulated botanical knowledge of all mankind, world-wide, we didn't know these guys were still around.
But they ARE. And that's pretty cool.
I thought so, anyway.
There may have been more than two examples of this kind of thing, but I only got decent shots of these.
First is a Wollemi Pine:
This isn't the whole tree, of course. I focused on capturing the detail of the needles.
This species of tree was thought to no longer exist. Then, in 1994, a park ranger in Australia's Wollemi National Park, while rappelling down a gorge, came across a tree that looked unusual. (Unusual to someone who knew their tree species, I assume.) It turned out to be one of these guys. Today there are only about 100 of these trees in the wild, making it one of the rarest trees in the world.
The other photo is of a tree with a similar story. This is a Dawn Redwood (again, a close-up of just the leaves):
Here again we have a situation where this tree was thought to have gone extinct millions of years ago. But then in the 1940's some were discovered in China.
At Bernheim they're helping ensure that species like this survive.
And, again, as a self-proclaimed nature photographer, I think that's pretty cool.