nature Archives - West Wind Hardwood
Earth Day Fake News by Shelley

Earth Day Fake News by Shelley

Making The Most of Easter Weekend

Great Way to Celebrate Earth Day!

FAKE NEWS BY SHELLEY | FACT-CHECKING THE FACT-CHECKERS

Remember April is Fool’s Month, and we mustn’t take ourselves too seriously.  As well, Earth Day is intended to bring attention to the importance of protecting our environment, treating Earth respectfully and demonstrating the courage of our convictions.

I hope this brings a chuckle to your day.  And I would love to hear back from our readers.  Tell us if your fact-checkers recognize the truth of these photos. 

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Saboteurs of the Sea

Saboteurs of the Sea

Ship’s sunk in battle, docks wrecked by aerial bombs, or vessels lost in storms – all these are visible, audible and entirely understandable forms of destruction.  But ever since man launched his first primitive wooden craft, there has been an equally destructive force at work – unseen, silent and often unsuspected.

Teredo navalis, commonly called the naval shipworm or turu is a species of saltwater clam.  Latin: teredo = woodworm or borer; navis = ship.  A marine bivalvemollusc in the family Teredinidae of the genus Teredo. Like other species in this family, this bivalve is called a shipworm, because it resembles a worm in general appearance, while at the anterior end it has a small shell with two valves that is adept at boring through the wood.  These shipworms, also called by mariners as the ‘termites of the sea, were native to the Caribbean Sea but have managed to ‘eat’ their way around the world. Though the Teredo serves an ecological value in degrading timber that falls to the ocean, it has also caused considerable damage to wooden boats even since man first ventured out to sea.  

“Some primal shipworm found some wood,
And tasted it and found it good.
That is why your cousin May
Fell with the dock in the sea today!”

Good Intentions by Ogden Nash, Little, Brown and Company ©1942

These boring clams weakened unprotected wooden hulls of ships to the point that they break apart in the open sea without any warning.  The Greeks and the Phoenicians certainly knew about them since 3,000 BC, lathering the hulls of their ships with wax and tar to keep them away.  The Romans used combinations of lead, tar and pitch to cover their boats.

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Healing in the Forest

Healing in the Forest

A Guide to Forest Bathing

Take a walk in the woods with no specific destination in mind.  When was the last time you walked into the woods with no plans; no set agenda? 

Wander, observe and immerse!  Allow your senses to guide you.

This is exactly the experience offered by a forest bathing session.

Forest bathing, forest therapy, or Shinrin-yoku, was developed in Japan in the 1980s.  There is a large amount of scientific evidence surrounding the health benefits of spending time in nature. Because of this, forest bathing became an integral part of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.

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The Dark Web of Mycorrhizal Networks

The Dark Web of Mycorrhizal Networks

Dr. Suzanne Simard has proven trees communicate. Dr. Simard is a professor of forest ecology; teaching at the University of BC (UBC). As a biologist, she has tested theories about how trees communicate with other trees. Currently, she involved with the Mother Tree project investigating forest renewal practices that will protect biodiversity, carbon storage and forest regeneration in our changing climate.

Mother trees are the largest trees in forests that act as central hubs for vast below-ground mycorrhizal networks. A mother tree supports seedlings by infecting them with fungi and supplying them with the nutrients they need to grow.

Research has shown that beneath every forest and wood there is a complex underground web of roots, fungi and bacteria helping to connect trees and plants to one another. Scientists have now nicknamed this network “the wood-wide web” in its very similar structure to the internet. This web is a highway of information for forests to communicate, cooperate, warn and share with each other.

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Lessons from the Pine Tree

In these unprecedented times, the world has been brought to its knees. And while you may be sitting by yourself in your home reading my newsletter, we’re all in this together, and the only certain thing we know is that we are not alone.

The West Wind community offers a virtual gathering place for everyone aligned in their common passion for wood and the natural world of forests.  This world is culturally rich and ecologically restorative.

I felt a look into what our natural world offers would be a critical reminder that we will collectively overcome just such crises.  Let’s take the opportunity to appreciate our forests’ healing power.  While many of us are responsibly avoiding unnecessary public travel or self-isolating, listening to recorded bird songs, babbling brooks or rainfall is proven to relax the mind and reduce stress.

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European Beech

Fagus sylvatica, the European beech or common beech, is a deciduous tree belonging to the beech family Fagacaea.  It has a natural range extending from southern Sweden though to central Italy, west to France, northern Portugal and central Spain.  Although oft regarded as a native in southern England, recent evidence suggests it did not reach here after until after the English Channel was formed in the ice ages.

It is a large tree, capable of reaching heights of up to 49 m and 3 m trunk diameter.  It has a typical lifespan of 150 to 200 years, though sometimes up to 300 years. The appearance varies according to its habitat and forest conditions; it tends to have a long, slender light-gray trunk with a narrow crown and erect branches; in isolation with good side light, the trunk is short with a large and widely spreading crown with very long branches.

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