“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.” –Martin Luther
Have you ever felt like you couldn’t breathe? Whether from asthma, smoke, pneumonia, or fear, the strangling, helpless feeling of not being able to replenish the body with oxygen kicks us into survival mode. The only thing that matters in that moment is to breathe. The physiological processes of breathing, delivering oxygen to all cells of the body, and removing carbon dioxide waste are miraculous! Just as miraculous are the processes of trees and other green plant materials taking our waste of carbon dioxide, using it to provide nutrients for themselves, and in turn, providing oxygen for us. We and trees are partners in this thing called Life.
Our Black Friday consisted of heading to Warner Lake County Park, spending energy via leg muscles, and buying a great day at a bargain price. It was unseasonably warm with sun and chances of passing showers, and we eagerly hit the trails.
The wooded trails were eclectic with areas of conifer and deciduous forests, which is common in this area of Minnesota. One uncommon aspect of this park was the high population of mature Red Cedars that grew among the mighty Oaks and Pines.
A small walk-in campground area in the mixed forest seemed like an enticing place to camp. Deciduous trees were like ghost trees among the evergreens.
The sun broke through the clouds and shone on the butterscotch bark of a Scotch Pine tree.
We walked on, and then this…
” And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul.” –John Muir
The tall Pines were mesmerizing as they swayed and whispered in the breeze. Chris said this is the place to take a sleeping bag and spend the night! Imagine lying on a bed of pine needles, safe in the bosom of Mother Earth.
Breathe. One tree provides 260 pounds of oxygen a year, while absorbing more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The burning of one gallon of non-ethanol gas produces 20 pounds of carbon dioxide.
After we left the Pine forest, we saw other interesting trees and a grove of Birches.
When we circled the lake, we looked across the ice-covered water to see the Pine forest rising above the other trees.
It is great fun to discover a Pine forest of such beauty and serenity. I’m thankful someone created the park around the small lake and big trees. The deciduous trees in our area are not contributing to the oxygen levels in the air we are breathing during their dormancy, and the evergreen trees have slowed their production of oxygen in their non-growing state. But trees around the world are doing their part in their active, green growing state to provide us with what we need to breathe and to clean up and recycle what we do not need. This is a world-wide endeavor. Silver and gold, shopping and gifts, spending and gadgets are moot points if we do not have clean, oxygen-rich air to breathe. Trees are our real treasures, if we rightly consider—their gift to us is the only thing that really matters.