Look: The Fieldbrook Stump Lives!

Look: The Fieldbrook Stump Lives!

On June 18th, 2021, two members of the 1,000 Year Project team visited the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive in Copemish, MI to request permission to install a custom-built time lapse camera to take a daily photo of one of their redwood trees. We were not disappointed!

Jon Reneberg (L) and Jared Ferraro (R) arriving at Archangel Ancient Tree Archive

Choosing a Tree

David and Don greeted us upon arrival at Archangel. I (Jon) had met both of them previously on two occasions, once at their shop on a discovery visit in 2018, and again in March of 2019 when I had the honor of joining them in Northern California while the BBC was filming the Archangel team for episode 3 of their series “The Americas with Simon Reeve”. We were quick with the pleasantries and on to business. David, the founder of Archangel, is not short on inspiration! Within minutes, the four of us had settled on a plan that exceed Jared and my wildest dreams: The plan was to point our camera at not just any tree, but a plot of several Fieldbrook stump clones! WOW! The Fieldbrook tree was cut down over a hundred years ago in the 1890s. At chest height, the stump measures 32.15 ft in diameter. For perspective, a common two-car garage in the US is often 20-22 ft in width and depth. This tree was another 10 ft across, and over a hundred years later, the Archangel team is growing clones of this giant. As amazing as that achievement is, they were still gracious and just as excited as us to let us install our camera and begin capturing daily photos.

Inside of the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive Greenhouse

Choosing the right camera

Before the trip, careful planning went into selecting the camera we would use. Our budget was limited to whatever I could personally afford (you can help us with future installations if you’d like). While we reviewed several off-the-shelf cameras such as: the Brinno series, ATLI EON, and a few trail cameras, we settled on a two-camera setup. A Wyze v3 camera was installed to take advantage of the built-in time lapse feature, and a Raspberry Pi Zero W with 8 MP camera module was used to take a daily photo and automatically upload to a cloud server. The Wyze v3 cam ultimately proved to be a disappointment as we could only record for a 30-day time lapse before needing to restart. Once the first 30 days was recorded, we discovered even more disappointment. You must be on the same WiFi as the camera to download the video. We still hold out hope that someday Wyze will release a firmware update to allow photos to be captured at an interval to be stitched into a video externally.

The Raspberry Pi camera is still doing its job, taking a photo every day at the same time, and uploading it to the server. We look forward to sharing our first Fieldbrook stump clone time lapse with you soon!

1,000 Year Project time lapse cameras on Fieldbrook clones at Archangel Ancient Tree Archive

Extra Fun!

The Archangel team was so generous with us that they even let us set up a Wiral Lite string dolly with an Insta360 One R camera, which we then proceeded to zoom back and forth through their amazing shop! The team at Archangel has been nothing but amazing toward us. Please consider contributing to their cause if you’re inspired to do so. If nothing else, go check them out at arctrees.org!

Zooming through Redwood Nursery on a Wiral Lite with Insta360 One R

Sequoia in Michigan?

Did you know Michigan has a giant sequoia? It’s true! Lake Bluff arboretum in Manistee, MI hosts two, with the tallest being 90 ft tall. The park is free to access and is a great visit! We couldn’t resist a visit while we were in the area.

Sequoia tree at Lake Bluff arboretum in Manistee

Okay, that’s it for now, but we’re getting excited to share our first time lapse with you soon!

Until next time!
Jon Reneberg


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