Found some quotes I liked from the Daily Good site – http://www.dailygood.org/ :
Great art picks up where nature ends.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.
C. S. Lewis
When we show our respect for other living things, they show respect for us.
The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Hungarian biochemist and Nobel Prize Winner for Medicine
If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.
I hope this finds you well in mind, body and spirit as you visit here. I’m in the ocean and in the woods today lool! Going to try and go back to bed and see if I can get some sleep. I seem to be experiencing a bit of insomnia which is uncommon for me. In talking to several other people, this condition seems to be going around!
I hope no one minds me sharing this Interesting article. I am grateful for CBS News for posting it. Sometimes these positive stories get overlooked in all the negative “b.s” that usually permeates the headlines. This morning I actually woke up with it on my mind! I have wondered for the longest time if this type of thing was ever going to be done. I have wondered why we aren’t doing autopsies on falling trees to find out their stories so we can do more to preserve them. Looks like they are actually doing this now:
Mapping the genome of redwoods
Last year that tree toppled over during a storm. It was estimated to be around a thousand years old.
It – and others redwoods like it – are a testament to how much we are fascinated by these ancient evergreen, but it’s also a reminder of how much we’ve abused them.
“It looked like the redwoods were a limitless resource, that we could never possibly cut all of them down,” said Ranger Alex Tabone. “We needed those for houses and lumber camps, and mine shaft tunnel shore-up poles.”
It’s been a park since 1902, ever since a photographer named Andrew P. Hill led the first of its kind conservation charge to protect these giants – like what’s now called the Father of the Forest tree.
“It was probably only going to be another six months to a year before all of these old-growth trees were standing in right now, would have been gone,” said Tabone.
While those trees were saved, other old growth groves were not so lucky. In a 1965 CBS News documentary, our own Charles Kuralt reported on the rush to turn some of the last remaining redwood forests either into lumber or to clear them out of the way to make room for a highway.
“A hundred years ago the great original Redwood forest covered two million acres along the California coast,” Kuralt said, “but more than two-thirds of the virgin redwood trees are gone.”
Their loss was lamented even then. One woman told CBS News, “The more you can preserve of this, the better. I don’t think that the world needs any more freeways. Pretty soon you’re just going to end up with a bunch of roads with no place to go on ’em.”
The final tally: 95% of California’s original Redwood forest was logged, wiped clean, leaving only giant stumps as reminders of what had stood here for so long.
And it’s not as if threat is entirely over. Even today, only about a quarter of the coast redwood habitat is protected from commercial logging and development.
Those that remain stand as cathedrals of nature. Some have been here long before Columbus landed in the Americas, and tower some 30 stories tall.
Cowan asked, “What’s it like when you’re here and you see someone that’s never been in a redwood forest before to come here and see this?”
“That’s the best, that is the best,” replied Sam Hodder, president and CEO of the non-profit Save the Redwoods League.
“What do they say?”
“Usually it’s something along the lines of ‘Aaaahhhhhh my God!” he laughed.
“We’re working with redwood forests that have been clear cut multiple times, and are growing back with such a density of stems, that they’re crowding each other out,” Hodder said. “It becomes a thicket of spindly trees that don’t get enough sunlight, that don’t get enough water. … There’s too much competition.”
So, there’s a subtle shift underway from forest conservation to forest restoration – which includes one idea that may have you scratching your heads: logging.
Over the next five years, Save the Redwoods League will be working to thin over 10,000 acres of smaller trees in order to give the remaining redwoods more space, more nutrients, and more light – in order to grow faster.
“Just like in a garden where you prune to accelerate the growth of the dominant plants, you need to thin,” said Hodder.,
But figuring out which of these precious trees stay and which ones go is no easy decision.
“We treat all the trees like they’re the same, but they’re really, really not,” said League scientist Emily Burns. She and University of California at Davis professor David Neale are trying to unlock the genetic secrets of some of the oldest living things on the planet.
Cowan asked, “So, as old as they are, and as iconic as they are, we don’t really know that much about them?”
“They’re the strong silent type,” Burns said. “And so we have to use science to help decode what’s going on with these trees.”
Last year in two labs – one at UC Davis, the other at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore – they began the complex task of mapping the redwood genome, to uncover Nature’s blueprint that is as unique to every tree as our own genetic makeup is to us.
“You have to have a parts lists to understand whether anything is the same or different than it was before,” said Neale. “The parts list for redwoods did not exist.”
“It is a daunting task though, right?”
“Yeah, we won’t be able to do it overnight, you know? I mean it might take a few years, but it’s achievable.”
We as humans have three billion pairs of DNA – pretty complicated. But the coast redwood has some 30 billion base pairs.
“But I thought we were the most complex organisms on Earth?” asked Cowan.
“Well, no, you should rethink that!” Neale laughed.
It all starts with the redwood’s cones – and the seeds embedded in them, high up in the canopy, where someone has to make their way all the way up and pluck them off by hand. It’s from the seeds where the DNA is extracted, one scalpel cut at a time.
The $2.6 million project has been funded by mostly private donations. When it’s done, scientists will have mapped enough of the genome in enough trees to help identify the kinds that are the most resilient and likely to live a nice long life.
“Within a hundred years we absolutely can set these forests on a healthy trajectory where they have many of the characteristics we’re looking for in old growth,” Burns said.
Call it a nurturing nudge from science, all to save what John Steinbeck once called “ambassadors from another time.”
“When so much of the conversation today is about what we’ve lost – the damming of the world’s waterways, the receding glaciers – we have in the redwoods a sense of hope,” said Hodder. “And we can truly leave the world better than we found it.”
Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Boulder Creek, Calif.Save the Redwoods LeagueDavid Neale, College of Biological Sciences, UC Davis Story produced by Mark Hudspeth.