Today I’m talking about some fun forest facts and then sharing a forest poem from my latest poetry book.
Did you know that forests cover almost a third of our landmass or 31%? I didn’t.
There are three types of forests: tropical, temperate, and boreal. How are these different?
Tropical forests stay at a comfortable temperature, usually between 66-88 degrees F. They skip winter but still enjoy the rain and dry seasons. The Amazon rainforest is a good example and the largest, but if I venture into a tropical forest, it’s usually in Hawaii. They contain fifty percent of all the world’s plants and animals and their soil is acidic, but that doesn’t stop all the growth. The growing season is year-round.
Temperate forests experience all four seasons. Winters can last up to six months and some animals will hibernate, like the bears, or migrate to survive. Alaska’s Tongrass forest spans 16.7 million acres, making it the largest of this type. They include deciduous trees that change colors and lose their leaves every year, along with the evergreens and other tree types. They are also known for having rich soil. The growing season is between 140 to 200 days a year.
Borel forests are the coldest of the forests. They can dip to -65 F in the winter. They are in the United States of America in the state of Alaska, Russia, and Canada. Only the most hardy of trees survive in these conditions like firs, pines, and spruce. Like those in the Temperate forests, the animals will either hibernate or migrate. The growing season for this type is 130 days at the most.
These forests have subcategories that differ in temperature, animals, plants, trees, and moisture. I won’t go into those today.
The Magic Trail and my home are in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains at an elevation of 3800. Up to 5000 feet are considered foothills. There are many times in the winter when I forget that fact and feel like I’m in the mountains. The Sierra Nevada mountain range is called a temperate coniferous (fire, pines, juniper…) forest. This type of forest, including the animals and weather, finds their way into my stories. The redwood forest is also temperate coniferous that has also made appearances in my settings.
Forests are considered the lungs of the earth, but they also provide fresh water, food, timber, and many other resources.
The tallest tree in the world is a sequoia named Hyperion at 380 feet in the coastal California redwood forest. Its location is kept secret for its safety.
The oldest tree in the world is Methuselah. This tree is believed to be 4,855 years old and also lives in California in the Inyo National Forest White Mountains.
How do you know the age of a tree? You count its rings.
Approximately 25% of all our modern medicine comes from plants in the forests.
Rainforests receive between 79 and 394 inches of rain each year.
To honor forests, I’m sharing a forest poem from my book Deep in the Forest Where Poetry Blooms.
The trail weaves through pines and oaks,
Winding around logs of past lives.
It takes me past a mysterious pit,
While brushing the edge of wilderness.
I meander slowly on the red dirt,
Like a river trickles on a warm summer day.
Each step brings me closer to my spirit,
As perfection of spring sprinkles the trail.
Awakening the beauty of renewal,
It rises from its quiet hibernation.
With a long stretch, spring’s days open,
Embracing me in a cyclic cuddle
That flows through me in awareness,
Each tree becomes a welcomed friend.
The birds are now my exclusive guides,
While the insects teach me about life.
Eternal nexus tethers me to the moment,
Grateful, my meditative walk continues.
Gifted, with the forest’s peace,
Guided, only by the trail’s magic.
Embrace your inner child by visiting a forest or reading about one in a book! D. L. Finn