Saturday, September 21, 2013

Thank the squirrels (and chipmunks)

The colors are beginning to come out this fall.

A phrase I read recently somewhere on the internet, perhaps the saddest three words I've seen in quite some time: "empathy for robots."

Reading a book "A Landscape History of New England." The chapter "The Handselled Globe" by Kent Ryden is very interesting. He explains the process of development of New England's hardwood forests, and the fall colors that we now enjoy. Although this is an oversimplification, one could say that it was the work of squirrels. After the initial forests were clear cut, the second growth was mostly white pine, which has seeds that can travel in the wind. Over the years, under the shade of this second growth, squirrels stashed seeds, nuts and acorns, and when the second growth white pine was harvested for matchsticks and box wood, these hardwood saplings had light to grow. What we see now is the result of this process....