Have you ever known something about, well, anything, and then come to the realization that what you know is only a fraction of what there is to know about the subject?
I did the best I could, but that was a convoluted sentence. If you need to read it again, I understand. I needed to, and I’m the one who wrote it.
Yesterday I wrote about a wonderful hike on a local trail after a heavy rain that had just ended. I’ve been on a lot of wonderful hikes, but yesterday’s was a bit different in that it gave me a realization like the one I described to start this post.
One of the things the Chapman Mountain property is known for is its big trees. It’s been logged in the past, like most of the land in this area, but it’s been close to 100 years since it last happened. Hence the big trees.
As I was walking, I found myself at the base of a good-sized ash tree. The bark was covered with moss, and it towered above me toward the blue-grey sky. I felt compelled to stand there and just look up.
While doing so, I was nearly overwhelmed at the beauty of the scene. The rain had stopped, but the tree was still dripping. Big, fat water droplets from nearly 100 feet above my head were falling toward me, and their starting height allowed me to actually follow their movement.
As could be expected, one of the drops fell–splat!–onto one of the lenses of my glasses. I laughed out loud to my own amusement, and continued to look up, amazed at the sight.
When I eventually brought my head down and took out a handkerchief to wipe my glasses, I saw that there was “stuff” on the lens. Stuff that had apparently fallen with the water droplet.
So, back to my opening question. I know that trees and other plants drop their leaves, those leaves decompose, and the deposited nutrients help the tree grow. Now, though, I’m wondering: what else is dropping besides leaves? What was in that drop of water besides water? How did it get to the top of the tree? Aside from leaves, just how much stuff falls from trees in any given period of time? Is all of that stuff from the tree, or are there other things up there?
I don’t know. I’m not even sure how to find out, but I’m certainly curious; that, I believe, is a good thing.
If it’s been a while since you took a walk in the woods, this is a great time for doing so–get outside!