Jack’s Walk

Stick out your tongue and say aahh ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I were out pretty early this morning because I had an out-of-town doctors appointment that took up most of the rest of my day. About every 3 or 4 weeks I get lidocaine injections along my spine that help control pain and muscle spasms related to scoliosis and fibromyalgia. It’s a bad day in a good way. The injections are exhausting and wipe me out, but that’s partly because I can feel the relief of my muscles relaxing. It’s a bit like breathing out after holding your breath for a really long time. I’m a bit dizzy, a bit light-headed and a bit groggy. That’s with a successful set of injections. Not every set is as good as every other, but I’ve been with this Dr. for a few years now and she’s gotten pretty good at figuring out the twists and dips of my spine. So, now I’m going to toddle off to bed and by morning I hope to have my cheerful back.

Jack’s Walk

Lean on me ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I are enjoying being outside this week. The heat wave has finally broken and so has the high humidity, making it ever so much easier to get out for walks. We don’t have to get up before dawn or go out late at night and even the mid-afternoon is an acceptable time to be outside if there’s a bit of shade around. We’ve also been able to turn the air-conditioning off at home which is the biggest plus of all. I’d much rather have my windows open and tuned to the sounds of my neighbourhood than listen to the droning hum of the A/C unit.

Tree Tuesday

Chic Choc Mountains, Gaspe Peninsula ©voyager, all rights reserved

There’s one more reason to love trees. A new study from The Crowther Lab, ETH Zurich, published in the Journal of Science, July 2019, says that targeted reforestation could isolate 2/3 of human-made carbon emissions and would be the best way to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The researchers calculated that under the current climate conditions, Earth’s land could support 4.4 billion hectares of continuous tree cover. That is 1.6 billion more than the currently existing 2.8 billion hectares. Of these 1.6 billion hectares, 0.9 billion hectares fulfill the criterion of not being used by hu-mans. This means that there is currently an area of the size of the US available for tree restoration. Once mature, these new forests could store 205 billion tonnes of carbon: about two thirds of the 300 billion tonnes of carbon that has been released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity since the Industrial Revolution.

Calculations were made based on current conditions and cities and agricultural areas were not included because those areas are necessary to support human life.

According to Prof. Thomas Crowther, co-author of the study and founder of the Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich: “We all knew that restoring forests could play a part in tackling climate change, but we didn’t really know how big the impact would be. Our study shows clearly that forest restoration is the best climate change solution available today. But we must act quickly, as new forests will take decades to mature and achieve their full potential as a source of natural carbon storage…. The study also shows which parts of the world are most suited to forest restoration. The greatest potential can be found in just six countries: Russia (151 million hectares); the US (103 million hectares); Canada (78.4 million hectares); Australia (58 million hectares); Brazil (49.7 million hectares); and China (40.2 million hectares).

I encourage you to check out the Crowther Website where you can read the report in full. The site also offers a tool that allows you to pinpoint any area on the globe to find out about its reforestation potential.


via: Science Daily

Jack’s Walk

Just a hole?

Jack and I went to the woods today hoping to see Drucilla and Murray from the Stone Tribe, but we couldn’t find them. Jack followed their scent to a hollowed out area in a log and told me he thinks they’ve gone inside. Inside? I told him it doesn’t look large enough for anything to hide inside. Jack took another sniff and said he was sure they went inside and he was just as sure that they hadn’t come back out. I bent down to take a closer look and could see that the opening was large enough for the Stones to pass into, but it was not large enough for them to hide inside. I grabbed a stick and poked into the hole. Surprisingly, the stick was almost a foot in before it hit the end of the tunnel, but at that point it felt solid all around and there were no Stone people hiding from my probe. Jack thinks it might be a corridor or a secret tunnel and that my poor human senses are too dull to find it. I couldn’t argue with that and there didn’t seem to be much point in hanging around so we went back to the path and hurried the rest of the way around because rain clouds were moving in.

Tree Tuesday

One of my favourite perspectives for photographing trees is looking up, way up, because a tall tree silhouetted against the sky is majestic. In winter their uppermost bare branches create beautiful patterns in the sky that look sculptural to me. Some trees, though, create sculptural bare spaces in the summer, too, through a phenomenon known as “crown shyness.”

If you look up toward certain types of towering trees—including eucalyptus, Sitka spruce, and Japanese larch—you may notice a unique phenomenon: the uppermost branches don’t touch. Known as “crown shyness,” this natural occurrence results in rupture-like patterns in the forest canopy that seem to perfectly outline the trees’ striking silhouettes.

Numerous scientists have been studying crown shyness since the 1920’s and several theories have been put forward, but no one knows for certain what causes it.

One possibility is that it occurs when the branches of trees (particularly those in areas with high winds) bump into each other. Another suggested explanation is that it enables the perennial plants to receive optimal light for photosynthesis. Perhaps the most prominent theory, however, is that the gaps prevent the proliferation of invasive insects.

My favourite theory is the one that postulates the trees are trying to avoid bumping into one another. It seems so polite and I can imagine woody conversations along the lines of “oops – so sorry old chap – didn’t mean to crowd you. I’ll just move over here.”

I think it’s stunning and hope I get a chance to see it someday. If you’re lucky enough see it, please take a photo and share.

Here’s one last photo from the story, but I encourage you to check out the full story and look at all the photos. The link is below.

The full story and more photos are at: My Modern Met

My thanks to rq for sending this story my way.

Tree Tuesday

Embers and the Giants by Canadian artist Kelly Richardson – source CBC Arts

Canadian artist Kelly Richardson loves trees, especially the trees in the old growth rain forests on Vancouver Island where her latest work Embers and the Giants was filmed. Richardson fears for the future of these ancient trees and with good reason – deforestation is happening at an alarming rate and it’s recently been announced that another 109 hectares of pristine forest will be auctioned off.

Richardson’s work may prompt you to consider how we relate to nature as a species and to consider what the future may look like if we don’t choose a different path. In this video made by filmmaker Lisa Wu, you’ll travel to the forest with Richardson and get to see her at work making the landscape come alive in Embers and the Giants. The film was commissioned to participate in the XL Outer Worlds project celebrating the 50th anniversary of IMAX.

Canadian artist Kelly Richardson – source CBC Arts

Embers and the Giants will be at the Toronto Biennial of Art in Fall 2019, and then it’s travelling both across Canada and internationally. You can find out more about Kelly Richardson and her work here.

I’d like to thank rq for pointing this story my way.

via: CBC Arts

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Our weather has finally warmed up and the past few days have been pleasantly warm and summer-like. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for many of our readers, especially those across Europe who are enduring a heat wave. Jack and I hope you find ways to stay cool, safe and hydrated. Jack says all you need is water – drink, splash, swim and stay cool. I say a little air-conditioning might be a good thing, too.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s about as perfect as a day can get around here. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the air is warm with just a gentle breeze and all the growing things are happy. Jack and I took to the woods this morning and this afternoon we’ll be out in the yard. The forecast for the whole weekend is supposed to be just like today, which is perfect. I have an old friend visiting from Cobourg tomorrow and I’m planning a picnic by the lake for us on Sunday. A little homemade potato salad, some lovely crusty rolls with real butter (I’m usually not allowed, but it’s a special occasion), some six bean salad, crudités with a sour cream and bacon dip, fried chicken, a good old chedder, grapes, cherries, watermelon, and a strawberry pie. Yum!

I hope everyone has a good weekend and if you get a chance plan a picnic for yourself.