*** What are YOUR relations with plants? ***
(the Author in Sarawak, 1966 [photo by Betsy of course])
As is frequently the case, this phyto- thread arises from email from John-the-Son, provoked by his reading of the moment:
So reading this book "Finding the Mother Tree" as it explores all of the interrelationship and overlapping dependencies of different tree species sharing the same fungal mycorrhizal network, and including the dynamics of denitrifying bacteria and root diseases, it's fascinating......and as is even more frequently the case, my intention to respond to him sparked my next Convivial challenge, which is now unreeling into a flowering sprawl of tangential materials that this Fox-Orangutan is busily gathering into a great ungovernable something, links to which will appear in this space anon...
Along the way during the week I've been reading Finding the Mother Tree myself, and there has been the usual tripping in and out of a splatter of other books to which my attention is drawn. So yeah, you guessed it: by Wednesday there might be too much to read unless you've got nothing else or better to do than following my magpie careen through a week of thoughts and gatherings, and indulging my penchant for serendipity as a field method [anthropology joke].
At the moment I see several themes to braid (and others may occur):
from the last paragraph of Darwin On the Origin of Species:It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse...
and that's where the next Convivium will unfurl and take wing.