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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Those of us with some method of locomotion are not the only world occupiers that have a daily struggle in our efforts of life. Some trees have a constant fight just to live another day, contending with other trees and plants for nutrients and moisture, as well as dealing with the actions of man inflicted upon them.

An old cedar tree I remember from bygone days had been severely cut back because of its closeness to a power line and was barely clinging to life. Most of its remaining needles were brown with only a few green ones in evidence, indicating its nearness to losing its battle to survive.

Most every forest has older trees as well as those that sprout later. The sproutlings have to compete with the mature ones for life drawn from the soil, and they must put every ounce of their growth energy in striving to reach their own place in the sun. These new ones become very tall but slender, making it hard for them to stand up under stiff breezes except for the wind-breaking abilities of the forest as a whole.

The tree standing alone is strengthened by the buffeting if winds, causing it's trunk to thicken and it's roots to go deeper. This is typified by a tree I used to see several days a week, it was a pine and had open space between it and other trees, it had limbs and needles from top to bottom, with a strong trunk in support.

I didn't notice at first but later saw a small pine tree that started it's growth much more recent but seemed to be thriving under the very shadow of the larger tree, siphoning it's sustenance from the leftovers of the other's roots. All this shows life lessons we could learn; we could entitle them "trees to live by". ec


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