Friday, October 8, 2010
The romantic in me would think otherwise. Lying in my forest, imagination leads me to see him lying in a similar forest so long ago, watching the leaves trembling against blue sky. I would have him hear the gentle rustling as leaves wave in wind, and know the essence of
In Autumn, my Aspens prepare for winter. Leaves cease to function, turn yellow, still trembling in the breeze. My forest, however, does not go golden all at once. A patch of
here turns colour in early September, yet another patch chooses to wait until late in the month. Here Aspen Aspen is teaching about . Aspen
I wonder why this forest prepares for winter in patches, and I think about the
chemistry of leaves and how light triggers Autumn. Lowering light levels, as day length shortens, cause changes in leaves, and these changes are the response of the tree’s genetics to the environment of the tree. A patch of the forest changing in unison betrays common genetics; the response is shared between tree and tree. Now I am led to question what a tree is; where a tree stops and another tree begins. I remember roots.
What I know as tree is anchored to the ground by root. How extensive the root varies with the species of tree, and I cannot know the extent of
Aspen root. Root connects tree to ground and root connects tree to tree, creating an invisible underground link between what I know as tree and what I think is another tree. Aspen knows each tree is part of a greater whole; an individual has many trees. An individual Aspen, sometimes called a clone, changes colour all at once and all the trees of the clone show the change because they share the same genetic response. The patchy response of my forest to low light in the fall tells me that what I have been taught is a tree is not accurate where Aspen is concerned. Aspen Aspen has taught about , and I cannot see the trees in the forest in the same way as before. Aspen