What’s can you see the distance? On trees, bees & the sun.
ON TREES AND BEES AND THE SUN
What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and one another.
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~
A week or so ago an amazing event occurred here at the lake, on an unusually warm and calm spring day. At first we couldn’t figure it out. It wasn’t fire or smoke. Nor was it dust from logging or mining. After a bit of puzzling we got it – eureka! Away in the distance at the base of the mountains, an outburst of pollen was rising from the trees. It was as if before us, the earth and forest were making love. Mother nature, re-creating. Giving us life and sustenance…
“The mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” – Isaiah the Prophet
A close-up of the pollen flare…
Most trees in our local ecosystem are evergreen conifers such as spruce, red cedar, douglas fir, and western hemlock. The only local deciduous broadleaf tree is red alder which grows rapidly and may shade out the more commercially favoured conifers. But red alders have important eco-logical value because their root nodules fix nitrogen in the soil and their leaves create rich compost on the forest floor. They also reclaim slide zones from logging and floods, hence preventing further soil erosion.
So, where did the pollen burst come from?
Although I’m not certain, I suspect it came from the alder trees – from the male flowers or male catkins, to be precise…
Red Alder catkins (male) on left, and
slung over a huckleberry bush (below)
As for the future, where is the pollen cloud is heading?
To the female red alder catkins (below), one might accurately surmise.
“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Below is another view of the pollen burst. The lakeshore (left) is lined with broadleaf red alders.
To the left side of the frame are alder branches.
To shift the story a bit (and indeed the paradigm), the next day pollen was everywhere…
Can you see where I wiped it off the glass of the solar hot water heater?
Usually our solar electric panels need little maintenance. But there was so much pollen I had to clean off the yellow film that was blocking out the sunlight.
It was good I took the time, because for the first time I noticed some discoloration and darkened purple color on a few our oldest panels. These solar photo-volt-aic panels have been producing power for 31 years now. When brand new in 1985 the cells were all bright blue like the center one. Over more time they’ll begin to give us less electricity and in future we will need to install a few more solar panels to make up the difference.
It is also a good thing that solar solutions are rapidly becoming less expensive. Especially considering the harm that fossil fuels are igniting, and on the overall future of the planet.
“We cannot hope to either understand or to manage the carbon in the atmosphere unless we understand and manage the trees and the soil too.” Freeman Dyson
I think the dream of a solar age is now coming to fruition. In realizing this, it will be good for us to be aware that nature will always provides us with the best most important solar collectors –
the flora of the earth around us – the plants and trees.
And of course the pollen, and the birds.
And the bees…
Cheers – Bruce
The future depends on what you do today.
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~