The hidden life of trees

An absolute paradise.

An absolute paradise.

July 7, 2017
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”In the symbiotic community of the forest, not only trees but also shrubs and grasses – and possibly all plant species – exchange information this way. However, when we step into farm fields, the vegetation becomes very quiet. Thanks to selective breeding, our cultivated plats have, for the most part, lost their ability to communicate above or below ground – you could say they are deaf and dumb – and therefore they are prey for insect pests. That is one reason why modern agriculture uses so many pesticides.”

Friendly gardenIt is sad to think about this, how we are robbing cultivated plants of their ability to communicate. But what makes me even sadder is that somehow, we humans have truly screwed up. I mean, my garden is an absolute paradise for insects of all sorts. It is filled with flowers blooming from early spring until late fall, it’s rife with decomposing leaves and plants, with plenty of possible holes serving as nests for both bumblebees and wild bees, no pesticides of any sort enter into it, and in all manners possible it is an extremely pollinator-friendly garden.

There’s only one thing missing: The pollinators.

Sure, there’s the occasional bee (but truly, occasional, not at all to the extent we had when we first moved here thirteen years ago) and bumble bee, sometime a butterfly wisps past me, and there’s a few more flower flies and such, but to a large part: it’s not buzzing and whizzing the way 1) I want it to be and 2) it used to when we first moved here.

And as the garden itself has only gotten more and more pollinator-friendly, I come to the conclusion that the surroundings aren’t?

When will we (human beings) realize it’s not a good idea to fight against nature, but rather something which we must work with, for the good of all that reside on this planet? Will we wake up in time, you think?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:

The book “The hidden life of trees” by Peter Wohlleben.

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Leaving things alone.

June 13, 2017
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“Thanks to the migration of threes, the forest is constantly changing. And not just the forest – all of Nature. And that’s why so many human attempts to conserve particular landscapes fail. What we see is always a brief snapshot of a landscape that only seems to be standing still. The illusion is almost perfect in the forest, because trees are among the slowest-moving beings with which we share our world and changes in the natural forest are observable only over the course of many human generations. One of these changes is the arrival of new species.”trees

“Giant hogweed is considered extremely dangerous because its sap, in combination with ultraviolet light, can burn human skin. Every year, millions are spent digging up plants and destroying them, without any great success. However, hogweed can spread only because the original forested meadow along the banks of rivers and streams no longer exist. If these forests were to return, it would be so dark under the forest canopy that hogweed would disappear. The same goes for Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed, which also grow on the riverbanks in the absence of the forests. Trees could solve the problem if people trying to improve things would only allow them to take over.

That last sentence is certainly true for much more than the problem of invasive plants. What would life be like if I (and you? we?) would leave things alone to a greater extent than I do? And how to know when me trying my hardest to improve things is truly beneficial, and when it is not?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book “The hidden life of trees” by Peter Wohlleben.

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#blogg100 – The hidden life of trees.

May 27, 2017
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This book, written in a wonderfully gentle and inviting way, is making me gasp, drop my jaw and realize the extent of my (and our!) ignorance. I simply did not know… and neither, likely, do you. Did you know that trees can taste? Smell? Feel? Communicate with their peers? That they collaborate in the most amazing manner, both within their own species, but also with other species – especially fungi – and  even with other tree species at times?

“I encourage you to look around where you live. What dramas are being played out in wooded areas you can explore? How are commerce and survival balanced in the forests and woodlands you know? This book is a lens to help you take a closer look at what you might have taken for granted. Slow down, breathe deep, and look around. What can you hear? What do you see? How do you feel?”

He writes about trees, wooded areas and forests… and it made my recent visit to a forest quite different compared to previous visits – as I looked around me, trying to take in all of the activities happening around me, activities I was blind to before. Most of which are actually invisible to the eye, and yet, knowing about them made the forest around me buzz in a way I’ve never experience before.

Dalby Söderskog

All the while I’m thinking of trees, I also hear Wohlleben talking directly to me. Asking me to take a deeper look at life, my life; my hidden life?

“This book is a lens to help you take a closer look at what you might have taken for granted. Slow down, breathe deep, and look around. What can you hear? What do you see? How do you feel?”

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 88 of 100.
The book “The hidden life of trees” by Peter Wohlleben.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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