Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Silent Work of Trees

Annie Dillard is a phenomenal writer who can turn you on to the intricacies in nature and the miracles of creation. She won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1974 book: Pilgrim At Tinker Creek. I've read it four times, and she autographed my oldest copy when she spoke at Calvin College, here in Grand Rapids.
You must read it!

Listen to her describe the vigorous, yet silent work of trees:

"There's a real power here. It is amazing that trees can turn gravel and bitter salts into these soft-lipped lobes, as if I were to bite down on a granite slab and start to swell, bud, and flower. Trees seem to do their feats so effortlessly. Every year a given tree creates absolutely from scratch ninety-nine percent of its living parts. Water lifting up tree trunks can climb one hundred and fifty feet an hour; in full summer a tree can, and does, heave a ton of water every day. A big elm in a single season might make as many as six million leaves, wholly intricate, without budging an inch; I couldn't make one. A tree stands there, accumulating deadwood, mute and rigid as an obelisk, but secretly it seethes; it splits, sucks, and stretches; it heaves up tons and hurls them out in a green, fringed fling. No person taps this free power; the dynamo in the tulip tree pumps out ever more tulip tree, and it runs on rain and air."

Photo Location: 

Brockway Mountain Drive - Keweenaw Peninsula - Upper Peninsula (U.P.) - Michigan