Telling A Mother Story

Friday, May 21, 2021  (5 days before May’s Super “Flower” Moon rises fullest to Earth + total eclipse!)

Another gloomy day, this time with rain and hail. Bundled in long johns and sweaters, having finished Disney Channel’s “Whales” series, I began reading Simard’s book, and oh, what a grand experience!

Suzanne Simard is Professor of Forest and Conservation Sciences at University of British Columbia. She’s a PhD in Forest Sciences from Oregon State University. Her research interests are ecology, forestry, mycorrhizae, mycorrhizal networks, and silviculture. She’s written several books, is a highly respected authority.

My pre-retirement life offered minimal exposure to the worlds of insects, soils, and plants. After retiring to Oregon and acquiring a horse, I began participating in the natural outdoors, was forced to learn about terrains and footing. More experienced riding companions’ field observations made me interested in ecology. Eventually, I began honing my observation skills, wanting more to understand natural environments. Thus began my own steep, learning-curve journey.

Skipping forward, last summer my friend Dave introduced me to mushroom hunting, showed where to find edible plants, enthusiastically described fungi ecology, and loaned me books. Eye-openers! Who knew the importance of mushrooms and spores, or knew of a huge interconnected world beneath the soil, and that plants actively shared nutrients and information.

Well, Suzanne Simard is who first knew, researched, and figured it out. She taught everybody that natural forests are high-communicating, efficient ecosystems. Her work has changed how foresters perform their work. This book, her newest, explains her journey toward learning and communicating new information.

Simard combines autobiography and research. She grew up in Canada’s backwoods, in a family that logged, and absorbed forest understanding prior to being employed by the Forest Service. Her early forest-related tasks were puzzling, and for example, why couldn’t newly-planted trees simply take root and thrive? By combining her most youthful observations with later forest service experiences, she began questioning the Service’s traditional teachings.

She’s a very readable, superb, and informative writer. I’ve enthusiastically joined onto her journey, am eager to know how she continues developing questions, searches for logical answers, and becomes convinced her findings are viable. Ahead, too, I want to learn how she manages to sway old, long-time foresters, from their traditions and beliefs, and gets them to understand and accept new ways to view and manage forests.

This book is perfect for readers with outdoors experience, and equally so for those whose toes never touch the outdoors. Simard’s eye-opening quest for forest understanding introduces a world larger and more intelligent than anybody ever realized. A forest simply awes!

Dear Friends: By design, the worlds of Forests, Oceans, Insects, and Plants are self-sustaining. So, what’s technology got to do with it? Diana

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