"It is almost a marvel that trees
should live to become the oldest of
living things. Fastened in one place,
their struggle is incessant and severe.
From the moment a baby tree is born — from the instant it casts its tiny
shadow upon the ground — until
death, it is in danger from insects and
animals. It cannot move to avoid
danger. It cannot run away to escape
enemies. Fixed in one spot, almost
helpless, it must endure flood and
drought, fire and storm, insects and
earthquakes, or die"
This is a quote from my favourite American naturalist, Enos A Mills. It is an except from his essay: 'The story of a thousand year old pine' If there is any one piece of writing that would make you appreciate the dignity of an ancient tree, it is this.
The pictures are of Gwen's Little Oak - Derw Fach Gwenni (Hope the translation works!) We first met it a year ago when myself, Gwen and the beautiful @nomadnona were walking through some woodland. Gwen ran off the trail to go tbe toilet and on the way back, hit the tree and snapped a branch off. I think you can see it in the third picture.
I like to stop by every now and then to say hello and check how it is doing.
Did you know that an oak tree can live for a thousand years and support thousands of different life forms: from mosses and lichens to birds and the bees and squirrels and anything in between? I have seen the first ever growth of moss on this tree. I have seen the first few spiders make their little traps and watched it heal from Gwen's marauding playfulness. I have seen the birth of new siblings, growing in its shadow and will be interested to see how they get on.
I hope to watch it grow into a strong, resilient tree. Apart from loggers and playful pups, it has made it's home right next to a busy path on a popular mountain, so I know it will have to deal with clumsy, or worse, plain destructive walkers.
I hope that in a few years time, I'll get to see it grow its first acorns. This will be when it gets to about 20-40 years old, depending on which type it is.
We'll go back and pay a little visit soon, before winter sets in.