Friday, November 7, 2014
Another trip to the archives, courtesy of Cee Neuner. I often participate in a challenge that she post on line and here is my entry for the week. This week's challenge was bark and leaves.
Trees are amazing things. As you can see here this tree actually appears to have grown into/over the wall. This is not uncommon, a search on Google gives you this. However, we have one right here in Yorktown at Grace Episcopal Church. The church itself claims to be the oldest existing church in the US, and as you can see this eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) has done the job. I have no idea how old it is but it is getting up there in age. It really is a magnificent tree. I am sure this is a combination of growing over the wall and good craftsmanship by the mason.
A lot of people don't realize that trees grow from the outside. The bark is what is alive in a tree and the inside wood is more or less dead. Not that the inside wood does not do anything. This is where water and nutrients are transported up the trunk to the leaves, but all the thickening of the trunk comes from the bark and that is how it grows over and into things as we see here. Nature is magnificent and powerful. We humans used to be just a small part of it, although we are more and more taking over. It was said that nature used to be in control, but we humans have gotten so far that we can control nature. This seems scary to me, as a biologist I have found that nature is parsimonious (it does not waste anything), humans are the opposite. Nature is efficient and very adaptable, and history will bear out how we as humans do. A scary thought say the least, maybe not for me, but for my daughter and grand children.