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].



Followers of this blogspace, may be familiar with our confessed, enthusiastic partiality, to Dutch tulips, among all the beguiling mid- Spring floral magnificence. Each year, for the (slightly less than) the three years of plinyblog’s existence, we have re- published, on the occasion of Valentine’s Day, our mini-essay, exalting those eye-catching, uniquely shaped blossoms, valuing them. significantly, above the stereotypical rose; the latter being, apparently, the traditional love offerings, on that romantic holiday. It has always been our view that plants, like tulips, that emerge from bulbs, manifest unique and estimable features, not found in the stereotypical, Valentine roses.

In early European History, the tulip (“tulipa”) was generally acknowledged as extremely valuable, not only as a prized flower, but, actually considered, a valuable medium of exchange. There are some botanical texts which state, that in some recorded real estate transactions, the land and improvements, were paid for with tulips.

The early Fall, has, been empirically shown to be the best time for planting Spring flowering tulips. We recently have become owners of a country property, and have been in the process of preparing the grounds to suit our visual tastes. Accordingly, the past weekend was devoted to the planting of Dutch imported tulips, previously selected for color and type, and for their (late) mid – May flowering. Not to dwell on the subject, we are especial fans of the “late” flowering varietals, which are larger and more dramatic in appearance, than the “early,” or Mid- April, blooming tulips.

The ground must be prepared, by painstakingly removing the accumulated weeds and other unwanted material from the potential tulip field, working the soil, removing the rocks, and then, preparing dug circles, about the size of dinner plates, and four inches deep, and, then, within these circular holes, arranging the various bulbs, [ according to optimistic, aesthetic visions of the future] in potential color patterns as desired. The planted bulbs are then covered with soil, and gently patted down with the back of the planting spade. The planted area is then generously watered, and the long and optimistic, wait, for next spring, begins. We will undertake to furnish a report this coming Spring, for those who may be interested, as to the degree of our success. Since we believe in absolute candor, we would like to candidly, report, on our, (worthwhile) state of exhaustion and debilitating back ache.

For the moment, we would like to briefly discuss, the unique and inestimable, qualities of the tulip bulb, applicable to all bulb type varietals, the latter general category, which we feel deserve, at least, honorable mention (first prize, of course, to be awarded to the Spring’s tulip flower production).

Most flowers, of course, are planted by the chance, or in some cases, the intentional, burial of small seeds, produced by like flowers, previously pollinated, by insects, such as bees or butterflies. The mature wild seeds, eventually, fall to the ground, or are carried by the wind; a very small number of which, take root and grow to replicate their particular flower species. Such very few, are so fortunate, as not to be eaten, by birds, or other woodland critters, or blown away to areas where they cannot be buried for germination. The extremely few fortunate seeds, adequately buried by the natural elements, require sufficient amounts of water, as well as proper soil chemistry to take life, mature, flower and, eventually, in mature form, themselves, produce seeds for replication. As can be seen, seeds are dependent upon many variable and precarious factors to germinate, mature and go to seed.

Such utter and complete dependency, of botanical seeds, upon so many variables, is distinguishable from the admirably independent, tulip bulb. If planted correctly, the natural developmental pitfalls, and dependence on good fortune, and the many variable dangers, in the case of seeded plants, are not present in tulip (and other) bulbs. The tulip bulb is indeed, remarkable for its own, existential an remarkably independent success.

Each small onion type bulb, has within its systemic system, a sufficient store of food to feed its potential plant, until it breaks the surface of the soil, in which it was implanted, quickly develops leaves, which, by virtue of their content of natural chlorophyll, is chemically responsive to sunlight, and thereby, produce food for the plant. At this point the tulip bulb will have, also, developed mature roots, enabling it to derive needed nourishment from the soil, and then, mature to a beautiful and unique blossom.

There appears to be an instructive metaphor implicit in the tulip process, at least in part, applicable to man’s aspirations to a secure persona, and fulfillment as a mature adult. Just as the tulip bulb has within it, the ingredients for self- nourishment and ultimate production of a beautiful flower, man’s fulfillment, also, has its fundamental source, internally and systemically; the potential for the attainment of successful maturity and fulsome life, of the homo sapiens, is internally founded, like the tulip bulb; but, by significant contrast, in the case of man, such internal nourishment, is derived by the acquisition of wisdom from learned experience and by personal efforts at advancement.