Monday, March 17, 2014

Yorktown Battlefield National Park (3/15/2014)

Walking through the woods this weekend you run into old dead stumps such as this and you wonder how old this guy was when it died and how long it has been standing here while dead.  Still seeing remnants of trees that I know came down as the result of hurricane Isabel in 2003, you can only speculate that this guy most likely died more than 15 years ago.  Even as a dead tree it served as a very valuable part of the community.  There is so much evidence of woodpeckers and other birds in the area and you know they feasted on the bugs that were feeding on the rotting wood, or maybe on the organisms that were breaking down the wood.  I have always been fascinated by mushrooms and they are definitively also part of this process.  It is an amazing microcosm of life that lives on a tree, while alive and when dead.   So much proof that everything in this living world has some important function or is good for something; although that might be counter-intuitive when I walk these woods in the summer when I get attacked by ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes.  It is so important to understand that every organism is part of that web of existence; we need them all for this world to function.  Yes some species are out of whack, such as the deer population, but that probably we disturbed the natural balance, like the removal of predators, forced changes in migratory habitats or simply urban sprawl, just to name a few. 

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