If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet,
you’ll come to understand that you’re connected to everything.
This is true. However, it need not be a far, far forest. It can be near. In fact, it can be your backyard.
It reminds me of the joke where the Dalai Lama goes to a hot dog street vendor and says, “Make me one with everything.”
This photo was manipulated to resolve trouble with the output of the old 35mm film camera that shot this about 17 years ago, in not enough light as the sun was slipping away from the woods, but it is still true to the original, with perhaps an artsy touch.
I have always called it, “Reincarnation of a Birch,” but this fungus decoration is only one phase of the new world that will be created from this old gray birch stump.
It was in the campground at Taylor Pond, part of the Taylor Pond Wild Forest state land complex, which includes Taylor Pond Wild Forest, Terry Mountain State Forest, Burnt Hill State Forest and the Franklin Falls, Shell Rock and Black Brook Conservation Easement Tracts, a handful of my nearby nature immersion areas within 20 miles of Balsamea.
In her 2008 book, Between Earth and Sky; Our Intimate Connections to Trees, Nalini M. Nadkarni wrote on page 43,
I calculated that the world supports sixty-one trees for each person on Earth [in 2005]. … When I told my husband […] he reflected for a moment and then voiced wonder that the ratio was so small. “Each person gets sixty-one trees in a lifetime? That seems hardly enough to supply just the firewood we’ll use in our woodstove for the next few winter seasons, let alone the lumber that’s in our house and the paper I put through my printer.” His reflections […] reinforced the sense that I need to think about ways to look after my sixty-one trees, wherever they might be growing in the world.
To see how she arrived at 61 trees for each of us, see the two scanned images of her text below.
“As you’re walking through the forest, under a single footprint there’s 300 miles of fungal mycellium stacked end on end. … Can you imagine the activity that’s going on there? … Can you imagine that every time you walk, you’re on this big superhighway with all this stuff moving around all over the place? It’s huge!” —The Science, Culture and Meaning of Forest Wisdom, a talk given by Dr. Suzanne Simard, Ph.D.
You might say this post is about the bio-psycho-social life of trees and people who study them, how a scientist became a forest ecologist, survived a grizzly bear multiple times trying to figure out how trees talk, and helped her Grandpa rescue their dog who had fallen into the outhouse hole. Fun stuff! I also want to recommend the book excerpted below.
I shot most of these pix in 2009, a banner year for mushrooms. The two with the blue coffee cup (does it have to be coffee?) are chaga mushroom harvested from one of our birch trees this summer. Click the first picture to open the gallery and see the larger views. There are 49 pictures.
The last one, “Reincarnation of a Birch” looks like some sort of abstract painting. It is an actual photo of fungi growing on a birch stump at Taylor Pond in Black Brook, NY. I remember exactly where it was. Continue reading →
“You don’t have to fly or drive anywhere to see the beauty of nature-it’s all right there in your own yard!” -NHGS
NHGS started out as a gardening blog — by a garden and landscape professional, self-described now as, “Once a professional gardener, now a helper” — who now shares with us nature studies, photographs, descriptions and more, including personal reactions to nature as it occurs in New Hampshire habitats of the same kinds I have here in the Northern Adirondacks.
It is terrific nature writing, wonderfully illustrated, and I am grateful to be a subscriber.
It is a delightful source of education about things I see every day, written in a fresh, light, personalized style, loaded with information about the things explored, in all seasons. I’m introduced to things I did not realize I was seeing! I’m enlightened about the things I have seen and long appreciated. Continue reading →
This is one of those rare occasions when I just want to share some pictures, and few words. For a terrific, creatively written account of Haeckel’s roles in history, see: The Heavenly Zoo of Ernst Haeckel, an enjoyable read whether you like Haeckel or not, and a far better piece than I would write.
Below are some marvelous illustrations by the amazing Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), “German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms …” (quoted from Wikipedia biography of Haeckel). If he were here today, he’d be a blogger, too.
I ran into Haeckel during research for my post on British Soldier Lichens (Cladonia cristatella). He grabbed my attention with this illustration of Cladonia lichens, with an index, that he created at the age of 26 (click to enlarge):
from Kunstformen der Natur (1900), plate 83: Cladonia by Ernst Haekel
But THAT, as they say, isNOTHING. Here is just a splash of other Haeckel work and some pictures of him (click to open pictures in carousel mode, then look at the bottom right corner of any picture for the full view link):