Sounds deep, eh? On the island, there are many, many trees. Lots. Yesterday, we were tourists and were guided through Francis-King Park and learnt about trees. It was tree-mendous. (I did not coin that word) There are 4 types in this park and of course, in the many parks on the island. In our very own backyard is the BigLeaf Maple tree. Generally, the sap from this western tree is not used to produce maple syrup for it would take a lot of sap to do so and tends to be less tasty than eastern-sugar-maple sap. Though, it is quite fun for its winged seeds can fly like little helicopters! The Grand Fir tree is easily remembered by naming it the “grand piano” of tree. Its needles are both short and long in length. Growing under the canopy of the Douglas Firs, the Grand Fir is thin-barked and very sensitive to fire. The Douglas Fir, on the other hand, has a very thick bark, saving itself and little creatures of the earth during ground fires. A native folklore speaks of “mice” hiding in its cones; seeing a “fork” extend beyond the scale of the cone represents the hind feet and tail of the “mice” seeking shelter from the fire. It’s very thick bark seems to also represent the character of a very, very old man on the forest’s theatrical stage. The Western RedCedar known as the “tree of life” is just beautiful. It is huge, it is red and the large-scale use of its wood and bark is just tree-mendous. What’s interesting to me (besides my Beau using red cedar wood to build plant containers – weathers weather better, he says) is how the RedCedar is still held with highest respect by all northwest coast peoples for its healing and spiritual powers. We stood amongst the trees – 3 of us lay on the ground – looking up and beyond, taking in the natural powers within the walls of the forest cathedral.
Quite a show of trees!