Friday, December 11, 2009

It was great knowin' ya!

Here's a slideshow of beautiful and exotic places around the world, which will likely become only memories, thanks to a changing climate.
Of course, it doesn't include any of the pastoral scenes around Wit's End, but I think it should. To my mind these views are just as lovely - and just as likely to be destroyed by our wasteful and dangerous stupid squandering of fuel as the more distant and famous tourist attractions in the link.
What is happening in plain view is the destruction of our woods, the habitat for so many forms of life. New Jersey doesn't have the biodiversity of Madagascar, we can't boast 200 varieties of tree frog. But what we do have is still precious and infinitely charming. Or rather, was.
Being eaten by pollution turns an ordinary tree into a stark testament of irreversible decline.
Looking at this specimen, chosen randomly along the roadside, it's impossible to believe anything other than that it will soon perish. It's simply incredible that it is almost entirely suffocated by lichen - and the lichen is still growing!
It covers the bark, from the ground to the tips of the branches. This is not at all unusual any more. Some trees don't yet have it, but many areas of the woods are inundated, and there is no indication the spread is slowing, au contraire.
I wasn't expecting to find this as well - but I wasn't surprised when I ventured closer and saw that this tree is dripping a liquid, which froze. This is something I have noticed before - perhaps, it's generally too warm for the tree to go dormant and a cold snap makes the sap leak - maybe! In the last few days the daily high temperature has gone from mid-60's to 24, today. This is like if you looked at your skin and it was oozing blood. Ouch!

And here thanks to Doc, is a picture from another slideshow, of the changing Arctic.

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