Friday, January 14, 2011


Every plant needs a few basic elements: light, water, and food.  When we walk in natural places we see plants adapting to the balance of those elements that the land and weather provide.  A spruce growing in the deep bottomland of a river valley grows tall and broad.  Its genetic cousin, sprouted in a crevice on a mountainside is dwarfed and shaped by hardships.  A short walk anywhere will reveal hundreds of species living in apparent harmony.  Each plant sprouted in a moment of optimum light, warmth, and moisture.  Often, that plant represents a minute portion of the seeds offered by the parent plant in that particular year.
In any given year, only a fraction of a plant’s seeds sprout but by shear volume the parent plant still produces hundreds to thousands of seedlings.  It is the seedling that has the hardest time surviving.

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