:...take a look at The Returning Tree. This is one of the more perplexing pieces I have come across this year but certainly one of the more visually stimulating and an incitement to contemplation if ever there was one. It was created by Yuri Serizawa as his graduation work at Digital Hollywood. I see it as a powerful extended visual metaphor for hope and the redemption of our species after our millennia long confrontation with nature. Perhaps and then again, maybe some higher power finally got fed up with us. Whatever you think, this is an animation that makes you think. And it’s pretty, too. What do you see ?"
Photograph by Adrianafranco Fran
"This image has a wonderful texture that is almost surreal. At first glance, it's hard to even distinguish what the subject of this photo is—is it snow? Some kind of microscopic leaf or moss? It's just downright stunning as a desert aerial."—Janna Dotschkal, assistant photo editor
"Pando (Latin for "I spread", also known as The Trembling Giant) is a clonal colony of a single male Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) located in the U.S. state of Utah, all determined to be part of a single living organism by identical genetic markers and one massive underground root system. The plant is estimated to weigh collectively 6,000,000 kg (6,600 short tons), making it the heaviest known organism. The root system of Pando is estimated to be among the oldest known living organisms in existence at 80,000 years of age.
Pando is located in the Fishlake National Forest, near Fish Lake on the Fish Lake Plateau located at the western edge of the Colorado Plateau in South-central Utah."
The tree standing tall in 2004.
The tree, burning and charred on Monday.
By LIZETTE ALVAREZ
Published: January 20, 2012
"LONGWOOD, Fla. — Back, way back, before King Tut was born and Alexander the Great roamed his empire, the Senator sprouted in a swamp here in central Florida.
So on Monday, when word got out that the huge, 3,500-year-old bald cypress had burned and collapsed, people from the area who thought that nothing — not hurricanes, not loggers, not disease — could fell the Senator, sank into disbelief.
Investigators for the Division of Forestry are still trying to figure out how the tree burned down early Monday morning. Arson remains a possibility, although it had been initially discounted. Two other possible theories are being considered: the tree was struck by lightning long before Monday (maybe as long as two weeks) and slowly smoldered from the inside, or friction from the wind caused it to combust."
by Dale Hugo
"In Tetagoochie State Park on the North Shore of Lake Superior, Minnesota, a family of northern white cedars (Thuja occidentalis) is ganging up on a hapless granite boulder. These hardy trees need an extensive root system to handle the heavy snow loads and occasional strong winds that rake the northwestern Lake Superior area. In addition, they're often trampled by tourists during the summer months. Eventually, they and their progency will break down the boulders and rocky material, reducing it to consolidated soil more inviting to other types of trees. Weathering by root fungi plays a principal role in this slow but sure process. Frost weathering is also important in regions where freeze-thaw cycles are commonplace."