Wednesday, June 20, 2007

In Redwood Time.....

I seldom do book recommendations on this blog for a number of reasons but I really want lots of people to read this book. Richard Preston's The Wild Trees is ostensibly the true story of a community or culture of climbers, researchers and hikers obsessed with wild trees and especially, Sequoia sempervirens, the redwood.

But its more than that. It kind of moves away from the people without shifting its focus into an appreciation of the massive significance of trees. There is something pretty special about something which in addition to being the tallest living thing in the world is also 2,000 years old and there is also something significant about the concepts of scale and time this brings us to. What we chop down won't grow back in our lifetime, our children's lifetimes or for many generations beyond.

An old greek proverb says that "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in" and its this kind of acceptance and deep time philanthropy we need to accept as a society to conserve our world....but regardless of my speechifying read the book, its fun, its interesting and in our fast paced lives perhaps we all need to spend a few minutes in redwood time.

PS - If you're even vaguely interested check the pictures on the link.

1 comment:

M. D. Vaden of Oregon said...

Hopefully I don't have a duplicate comment out of view - anyway - the book is a fine read.

Over the past year, I've put together a webpage and albums which includes several of the redwoods and areas mentioned in The Wild Trees:

Hyperion Redwood and Largest Coast Redwoods

Provided too, is a book review including Gerald Beranek, who climbed old growth redwood canopy a decade or more prior to Sillett, a main character of the book.

The Wild Trees is fun to read once, twice - even three times. Preston stretched things a bit. But I hope it remains a permanent fixture of literature.