Birch Tree: Symbol Of Adaptability

Renaissance Oasis Paper Birch Birch trees belong to the Betulaceae family, found wherever the climate is temperate. There are about 60 different species that can be white, yellow, silver and black, recognizable by their bark which peels off in strips. Having shallow roots, they thrive in moist soil with full sunlight. The typical lifespan of […]

Mangrove: Symbol of Strength and Support

The genus name for mangrove is Rhizophorais, which comes from the Greek word rhiza meaning “root” and phoros meaning “bearing,” a reference to its stilt-like roots. The trees are highly adaptable, being the only ones that are salt-tolerant. They literally breathe through their roots, which take up the salt water and excreate it throught thick […]

Soil: Literally And Symbolically The “Ground”

Soils are “living” systems—a combination of ground minerals and organic matter that began to form in the Cambrian Explosion (550 mya) after a mass extinction of life-forms between the Permian and Triassic geologic periods. Today, soils are to the land what plankton are to the oceans—the bottom or ground of the food chain. On average, […]

The Majestic Oak: A Model of Endurance and Wisdom

This is a “Bur” oak, a massive tree that grows upward of 100 ft. tall and just as wide. Oaks can live more than 300 years. The name derives from “Burr,” the cup of the acorn which resembles the spiny bur of a chestnut. The species extends farther north than any of the other oaks. […]

Tree Roots and Anchoring Principles

From Peter Wohllenben’s The Hidden Life of Trees, I learned that the roots underground are more involved in a tree’s survival than anything growing above it. They withstand severe changes in climate, regrow trunks from time to time and it’s there where centuries of experience are stored. While trees don’t appear to have a central […]

The Tolerant American Beech Tree

Trees provide the very necessities of life itself. They clean our air, protect our drinking water, create healthy communities and feed the human soul.                                                        Arbor Day Foundation The […]

The Aspen: A Model Of Interconnectedness

When I began using a camera creatively, I approached trees and forests mainly as objects to facilitate the development of my aesthetic eye. Recently, Peter Wohllenben’s book The Hidden Life Of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate expanded my appreciation by describing their acute sensory and communication processes. After reading that book I discovered […]

Branching

From universe to “nanoverse,” one of nature’s most common structural features is “branching.” Networks of all kinds, physical and intellectual, are grounded in a pattern that chemists refer to as “child” (smaller channels) and “parent” (larger) branches. At the human level we see it in living systems—the brain, arteries and veins, leaves and trees. Branching […]

Nature’s Design Principles

Over time, a species of tree that evolved into the maple did so in part because it succeeded in finding a way to disburse numerous seeds over a greater distance. As kids we called them “pinwheels” or “helicopter seeds.” Hedging no bets in the area of reproduction, between 12,000 and 90,000 of these seeds can […]

Solutions (To Climate Change)

This is the final posting in the series on ecology We’ve reviewed the climate change situation from a whole-systems perspective observing that the key to managing complex living systems is to manage the parts in right functional relationship with the whole. With regard to climate, Earth is the whole and individual humans are the parts—“members” […]