Trees provide us shelter, fuel, food, protection from climate change, and beauty. But they also have deep spiritual importance. In a treetop conversation, forest ecologist Nalini Nadkarni points out the connection between trees and religion.
As soon as the ice melts from ponds, wood frogs emerge from hibernation, filling cool spring nights with the sound of their croaks. To tell males from females, just look at their hands. Males have absurdly muscular thumbs, the better to hold onto females in the fierce competition for mates.
Have you ever noticed tumor-like growths on plants? Fungi, insects, mites and bacteria are like “body snatchers,” penetrating plant cells and manipulating them to produce galls, cankers and witch’s brooms for the parasites’ benefit. Fortunately, most are benign.
Mosses are among the most ancient plants on earth, and their peculiar biology shows it. The lovely leafy green plant that all of us are familiar with? It has just half the normal number of chromosomes, like an egg or sperm!
Taking “forest baths” and recording your observations can be wonderful therapy for modern times. Here are some tips from acclaimed natural history writer Bernd Heinrich for keeping your own nature journal.