I received a lesson in ecological systems today from A.M. as we discussed the sad news he had delivered to me on Saturday night about the pending doom of the Ash trees in my forest subject to the activities of the emerald ash borer.
"Yes, it will be expensive to cut down those ugly dead trees", I stated. A.M. expression was obvious but needed probing: "I take it you are not in favor of cutting down old dead trees".
"Dead trees are like old people", A.M. replied. "They are the biological capital critical to the long term health of the forest ecosystem" says George Wuerthner - "Praise the Dead: The ecological value of dead trees".
It all made sense - the habitat for forest creatures; snow fences; nutrients for ground; thermal protection for Marten; the list goes on.
Our forest is full of fallen trees. In fact I have an area where I place all the collected debris. Just the other day, I had mentioned to Susan we should remove that "eye sore". With my new education in ecosystems, I can now say beauty is in the eye of the knowlegeable beholder.
Treebeard in the Lord of the Rings would be proud of my new found tree wisdom.