Natural Recycling

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Aki and I reunited this morning. Last week, while her humans traveled, she hung out in a dog haven. But rather than her usual dash ahead into the rain forest the little poodle-mix looks at me as if for guidance. She hesitates when I start down the trail. But soon she is sniffing, and peeing, and trotting like always.

2

With things back to normal I can enjoy being back in the rain forest. The thick ground layer of snow that fell two days ago is shrinking as the sun climbs into a blue sky. Above the white ground, a mini-forest of spruce sprigs covers the top edge of a wind-blown spruce, their roots pulling nutrients from the heart of the dead old growth tree. One or two of the tree babies on this nursery tree will eventually crowd the others out until their roots reach the ground.

3

Almost all of the spruce and hemlock trees in the forest rooted first on a back of a downed log. Sometimes the new tree forms a root that curls around the outside of the nursery log before reaching the ground. One hundred years later, long after the nursery log has rotted totally away, nutrients will flow over a hundred feet up the trunk of a spruce or hemlock through a root retaining the shape of the tree that gave it life.

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