The wild ocean coast of the Pacific Northwest is like a natural sculpture garden in which fantastical shapes abound. On almost any beach or cove you visit, you will find logs and uprooted trees in mind-boggling arrays, the trunks as straight as the beams of a house, the roots twisted in phantasmagorical convolutions. They have many lessons to teach us.
Summer visitors to the mountains of the American West revel in their glorious flower meadows . . . Our meadows are highly complex ecosystems. We respond emotionally to the beauty of their flowers, but much goes on that even the most attentive naked eye cannot perceive directly.
The mountains of the American West are justly famous for their alpine flower meadows, none more so than the Colorado Rockies and the Washington Cascades. . . The flowers are advertising their presence, the pollinators are surveying the territory for potential sources of food, the sensory signals generated by the flowers match the sensory capabilities and behavioral preferences of the pollinators. The outcome is cross-fertilization for the flowers, and nutrition for the pollinators. Is it not a beautiful system?
I don’t ordinarily post materials that I have not written myself. However, today I can’t help making an exception in the form of an article in the Seattle Times for Sunday, July 31st, that is very close to my heart: http://www.seattletimes.com/life/outdoors/students-trek-a-reset-for-the-human-spirit-as-national-park-service-turns-100/. It deals with nature study in the wilderness.
Indian pipe is a ghostly, fleshy, white-stemmed wraith with a nodding white flower at the tip, poking its way up through the duff of the forest floor. It looks like nothing else in the forest and like nothing in your garden. Its life story illustrates the intricate web of life that exists in the forest.