Post # 421   WOODLAND MONITORS (a fantasy)

Any individual, who deigns to look up, even momentarily, from his smart-phone, will likely notice, the most majestic and largest living organism on the planet, the ubiquitous, tree. Despite the contemporary atmosphere, of vociferous contention over global warming, many people, nevertheless, are coming to realize, that existence on this planet, is vitally dependent upon the metabolic process, death and ultimate deterioration, into topsoil, of this marvelous creation of nature.

The tree, in addition to providing aesthetic beauty, cooling shade, habitat for birds and other animals, and a playground for young children, performs vital services, in its absorption of carbon and manufacture of oxygen, prevention of floods, prevention of soil erosion, and, in addition to serving scientific research purposes, such as tree ring dating, has, eternally, provided required material for manufacturing and for building construction.

While we are, for the moment, making some general observations on trees, it may be of interest, to mention the renowned 18th Century classifier and botanist, Carl Linnaeus, who observed that the chestnut oak, willow oak, the water oak and the red oak, are trees confined, generally, to the eastern portion of the world, most principally, in North America. We elect to make this observation, for reasons which will soon become evident.

The study of “growth,” or “tree” rings, [the yearly developed, concentric rings around tree trunks] has provided scientists with valuable historic information, on climate, temperature and other natural phenomena. We are advised that such past events are discerned by experts from certain, rather subtle, demonstrable features of the rings, such as their thickness, and the space between each other. Certain adjoining, rather complex, wiggly lines, have been observed to be routinely present, which, until recently, were not, at all understood. The eminent, Professor (Emeritus) Percival P. Pooke, former Department Head of Arbor Research, an academic branch of Biological Studies, at North American University, in Rootland, Vermont, is credited with, brilliantly, uncovering, their function and interpretation.

The bearded, reserved, strictly vegan, Professor Pooke, who at the age of 87, still preferred to be called, by intimates, “Pooky,” studied, with the assistance of successive post-doctoral teams, the North American Oak, with special academic emphasis, on the notable, Chestnut Oak and the Water Oak. In the decades spent in intense and exclusive study of these two singular trees, he and his tireless, post-docs, made unique,valuable contributions, not confined, alone to the scientific discipline of botany, but, serendipitously, to the exponentially engulfing, area of computer science.

He succeeded in, at long last, in uncovering, in those studied, wiggly lines, a world -shattering revelation; consisting, incredibly, of an arboreal encrypted, algorithmic code, [[which took 40 years, two divorces and, no less than, 1546 felled tree trunks, to discern and, finally, decipher] in the Chestnut Oak, and to a lesser degree, in the Water Oak.

Pooke’s most recent team, which carried on the important work, after he was shot and killed by his angry, third wife, made further discoveries, which are existentially valuable, but conceptually difficult, to accept. The specific varietal of tree, the Chestnut Oak was found to have the capability of evolving an algorithmic system of recording information, and, equally astoundingly, encrypting it.

Still puzzling, accepting the finding, that this singular member of the oak family, had such capabilities, is the question, what could possibly be the content of such computer-style messages. These questions are immeasurably, far more difficult to answer, than merely, analyzing historic rainfall and other meteorological conditions, by the examination of the nature of spaces between growth rings of a tree.

The only possible answer, totally undisclosed from the public, until now, is that the haphazard, irregular miracle of the evolutionary process, resulted in a hybrid/sentient tree, with computer capability, but, by virtue of its feature of great height, and its problem of immobility, limited to the sole capability of observation.

These specific hybrid oaks, as discovered, look out on  humanity and record (since that is their sole capability)  acts which are harmful to the planet (injuring nature and especially, trees), including, the irresponsible discarding of throw- away cups ,and plastic containers, the irresponsible waste of natural assets, including water, the negligent and dangerous  setting of campfires, the cruel and psychopathic killing, of innocent denizens of the forest for “fun,” the senseless injuries inflicted on trees, such as carving initials, the irresponsible discarding of  garbage, and other such reprehensible, intentional or thoughtless acts. These, and, importantly, the identity of the wrongdoers, are, apparently, in some fashion, recorded and memorialized, for ultimate reasons, of which, we yet have no knowledge.

It is also said, by scholars, specializing in the new scientific, discipline of oak sentience, that overheard statements, amounting to denial of climate change, are similarly, recorded and stored in the oak’s “special” files, for future action, the exact nature of which, they also, lack knowledge.

We might recommend that, when you are hiking or picnicking in the woodland, you do pay attention to the larger oaks, especially those who seem to be alert and on active monitoring duty. Be sure to remove all trash and then, smile, at the large, breeze-waving, oak trees. [It surely can’t hurt].


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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