One of the things I never want to see again is a cow unless it is hanging over the edge of my plate. I get bored fast. Even as a baby, I was so intelligent that I needed constant stimulation — that’s my mom’s charming way of saying I’m high-maintenance. I think if I had been born a few years later, I would have been a pill-popping A.D.D. adolescent. On the other hand, my thirst for knowledge and experience has driven me on adventures into the African bush hiding from the hyenas in my tent, which is an amazing experience to savor for the rest of your — if you happen to survive. On the other hand, I feel that my attention span and appreciation for just about anything, maybe especially romantic relationships, is on the verge of fading away. Does anyone else feel like that? That as the years pass their senses become dulled? It certainly seemed that way as I was in a bar filled primarily with an excessive amount of meth addicts and unemployed loggers amusing themselves with sex, drugs and rock and roll.
One thing that always leaves me intrigued, fascinated and awed, even more so because I never get bored and because of the hundreds of mysteries I’ve discovered in such an ordinary object — a tree.
Redwood trees are the tallest trees on the planet and the second most massive as ironically defined by the lumber industry in board feet. A middle-aged tree can easily be ten feet in diameter and 1000 years old. The tannin in the trees makes them impervious to insects and mold and ideal construction material. Indeed, lumberjacks sometimes harvest a fallen tree that’s lain on the forest floor for a hundred years and haul the giant away on a semi-truck. On tree per truck.
If the fallen tree has even one root still attached to the ground it often sprouts a new tree or a ring of trees or a line of trees, and the redwood lives on for thousands of years more. I confirmed my theory with some loggers, who often know more than forest rangers, thinking that some trees could really be hundreds of thousands of years old, perhaps even millions.
The trees of been around since prehistoric times and when you visit the redwood forest, you’re not simply visiting a bunch of trees, but you’re visiting a land lost in time, as the trees alter the entire ecosystem.
And I wonder how the tree modifies me because I certainly feel unusually peaceful among my old friends.
Well, I could go on, but time and energy are in short supply. These blogs are just notes compared to the years I spent writing my book.
PS. No bigfoot sightings, but definitely some stinkyfoots.