The Magnolia Tree: Symbol Of Endurance

“Southern” Magnolia Blossom The Magnolia genus is at least 100 million years old. Bees and butterflies didn’t exist then, so the trees relied upon beetles for pollination. Their early ancestors, one of the first flowers on earth, lived on the supercontinent of Pangaea 250 million years ago, then spread to Laurasia (Europe and Asia) 200 […]

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 […]

Gratitude

I grew up in the city. My grandparents lived in the country, about thirty miles from us. We visited them most Sundays, year round, from the time I was born through high school. Although this is not a picture if their farm, it brings back vivid memories it. Topping the list of the downside of […]

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” […]

Greta Thunberg

This is the 10th posting in the series on ecology In a previous posting in this series, one of the reasons I expressed optimism regarding climate change was the concern and initiatives of young people. Because sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg has stepped up to speak to power with intelligence, wisdom and passion, I dedicate this posting […]

IX. Quantity vs Quality

This is the 9th posting on the topic of ecology Living systems grow or they die. Individually and collectively, zero growth is not possible. Faced with the current challenge of rapidly increasing and dramatic climate change, there are a variety of options open to us as individuals. Among the obvious, is observing the Earth House […]

VII. Environmental Ethics

  This is the 7th posting in the series on ecology Definition Of Ethics: The basic concepts and fundamental principles of decent human conduct. It includes study of universal values such as the essential equality of all men and women, human or natural rights, obedience to the law of land, concern for health and safety […]

Fiction And Empathy

I recently came across some insightful statistics on reading. They vary somewhat by state, but here’s an overview. Women read more than men. Most Americans don’t read fiction. Between 1982 and 2012 fiction reading declined from 56% to 46% Men mostly read nonfiction. Women mostly read fiction. Executives far outpace the general population in the […]