Wednesday, June 19, 2013

#39 Trees

I’m going to assume that almost every person loves trees. They are everywhere around us with about 100,000 different species, but we often take them for granted.

Without trees we wouldn’t exist. They take the carbon dioxide that we exhale out of the air and return to us oxygen that we need for survival. What a phenomenal coincidence if you don’t recognize a master designer. The whole amazingly complicated and delicately balanced ecosystem exists to perfectly support our existence.

Trees have a vascular system that passes water and nutrients throughout all the cells in the tree, somewhat similar to our own circulatory system of blood.

Trees produce for us an amazing variety of fruits that we love. They are almost all tasty in our mouths and at the same time very healthy for our bodies. Yet, there is a tremendous variety: apples, oranges, citrus, peaches, pears, cherries, coconuts, and so many others.

Trees produce in great abundance, far more than is needed for their survival…almost like they do it for us. Trees are the great “givers” in nature. I will always remember this big old cherry tree that my aunt and uncle had in their backyard. That thing produced so many cherries that they could never give enough away to the whole neighborhood. As hard as they tried, the ground would always be covered with a layer of rotting cherries.

Forests of trees support the life and existence of many other plants as well as myriads of insects and animals.

Trees give us shade from the hot sun and they shelter us from the rain like a big protective friend.

Trees give us their wood for building our houses and thousands of other creations. For thousands of years we burned the wood of trees to keep warm and to cook meals.

Many a romantic moment has happened in front of a burning fire. One of the greatest joys of going camping is sitting around the fire in the evening.

Trees give us paper. The vast majority of human knowledge that was ever shared in history was made possible by paper from trees.

Trees directly or indirectly provide jobs for a large segment of the population.

Another incredible aspect of trees is that they start from a small seed. A seed is truly a miracle in itself, containing nourishment to begin its life and all the DNA information needed to build the tree for its whole lifetime. The first thing to emerge from the seed is the "taproot" which goes straight down into the ground.

Some of the largest seeds come from trees, but the largest tree, Sequoiadendron giganteum, produces one of the smallest tree seeds. (see picture)

Ancient trees that are now under the earth have turned to coal which has also been another huge contributor to human development; heating buildings, driving steam engines for manufacturing and locomotives to move people and business; and making steam power to generate the majority of electricity in the world.

Every little boy who ever walked in the woods has picked up a stick and done wondrous things with it.
Trees can touch the sky like the Redwood in California named Hyperion that is 379.5 feet high. 

Trees remind us of the past like the Great Basin bristlecone pine called Methuselah (above). It has been dated by drilling a core sample and counting the annual rings at 4,844 years old in 2012. 

The largest living thing on earth is the Sequoia named General Sherman (below) at 52,508 cu ft. 

Trees can also be miniaturized like the Japanese Bonzai to display elegant beauty.

I'm really moved by the awesomeness of the Kapok tree.

Every autumn I try to make a trip to upstate New York when the leaves are changing color. It is spectacular and I never get tired of it. The trees do it for us every year like a living painting.

Trees are not an accident or some plant that happened to have the best materialistic, heartless survival abilities. Trees were designed with us in mind and are a precious life-giving gift to us from someone who loved us before we were born.

We could not exist without them.

There must be God.

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