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Tree Rings

Bayou-Diversity (18 October 2020) One day a forester walked into an unfamiliar patch of woods. She chose a medium-sized white oak tree as a subject, collected a sample, and returned to the lab. In a couple of days she drafted the following history of the tree. “The white oak sprouted from an acorn in the year 1885. For the first twelve years of its life the tree grew slowly as a result of being shaded from sunlight by large trees nearby. In 1897 the closest large tree, perhaps a parent of the sapling, blew over in a spring storm and allowed sunlight to reach the young tree. It grew rapidly for the next seventeen years. Then, beginning in 1914, a severe drought slowed growth for three yea

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Bayou-Diversity (4 October 2020) here is obviously some truth in the old adage “out of sight, out of mind.” Humans are a visual species with large areas of our brain dedicated to processing visual stimuli. Most of our knowledge concerning our surroundings is acquired through our eyes. We tend to deem matters that can’t be clearly seen as low priority, and for a great many people, if a concern can’t be observed directly and unambiguously, it apparently does not exist in their mind. Herein lies a problem as it relates to addressing some of our most serious environmental issues, because they first must be acknowledged. Plenty of “out of sight” examples are out there. They range in magnitude fro


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