06-28-21 – I read a book a few months ago called Entangled Life. It describes the astonishing activity beneath my feet, especially when those feet carry me through a forest, a place where fungi and roots commingle with lubricious-level abandon, and microbes, invertebrates, and insects join as well in their different ways. Where there’s life there will be competition, but the overwhelming picture is coordination for mutual benefit. When a tree falls in the forest it is heard and felt by a multitude of commensals, its friends, relatives, and associates, symbionts, and mutualists, all of whom feel the loss. These notions of relationship and sentience are, I believe, becoming harder to reject by the mechanists and anthropocentrists of the botanical and zoological research worlds. What I read here is consistent with what’s described in the book I mentioned a few days ago, The Hidden Life of Trees, a book I know has received criticism for making assertions without sufficient empirical basis—not that the author is necessarily wrong, but his notions need more research support. I’ve also begun a new book called Finding the Mother Tree, which comes to many of the same conclusions about entanglement. I find all of this pleasing and reassuring, confirming what I have sensed and known but not based on scientific experiment and observation.

Photo by Jordan Madrid on Unsplash

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