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10   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

 

depend. " Many are called but few are chosen," — that is the universal law of all life. The straightest saplings with no more limbs than are needed will get their tops into the sunshine and their roots into good ground, and become great trees, smooth and clean. The closer together they grow the straighter they will be, and less knots and limbs. Scrubby specimens beginning life there, are doomed to decline and meet an early death. In the forests, all are sheltered from the force of the wind ; they stand by each other right loyally. But out on the open barren here and there a wind-wafted pine seed germinates and slowly grows. There is no lack of sunshine, there is no serious competition ; but the soil is not friendly : they are underfed. The roots grapple with obstructing rocks, fierce winds wrestle with the sturdy branches and resisting trunk. In the long run of a century such a tree comes to plainly show the marks of its struggles with the elements. The grain of the wood is close, and hard, and twisted. Where the limbs join the trunk there are encircling bosses formed of wood wherein the grain or fibre is wound round and round, in sturdy self-defence of the winds; for on these branches are the lungs, and thereby hangs the life. With this understanding about them, these dead scrub.


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