Another book not in my original stack to read. I came across yet another recommendation to read it, so I thought it was time.
“Therefore, the color of organisms and objects is dictated by the color of the reflected light. And in the case of leaves on trees, this color is green. But why don’t we see leaves as black? Why don’t they absorb all the light? Chlorophyll helps leaves process light. If trees processed light super-efficiently, there would be hardly any left over–and the forest would then look as dark during the day as it does at night. Chlorophyll, however, has one disadvantage. It has a so-called green gap, and because it cannot use this part of the color spectrum, it has to reflect it back unused. This weak spot means that we can see this photosynthetic leftover, and that’s why almost all plants look deep green to us.”
This is an example of a fun fact from this book. The author, Peter Wolleben, is a German forester who started his career working for a commercial lumber business but now has been hired by the community in which he lives to protect their natural forests. Research on the trees’ lives in the forest has revealed much fascinating information on how they grow, propagate, defend and repair themselves, cooperate, communicate, die, and return to humus on the forest floor. There is fairly over-the-top amount of anthropomorphism by the author throughout the book, which may put off some readers. I just took it as an effort to make us identify with trees, and spur us on to take up the cause of protecting the forests. If you have time for nothing more, it would be worth your while to read the “Foreword” by Tim Flannery and the “Note from a Forest Scientist” by Suzanne Simard at the end of the book.
I’m looking at the trees around me with different eyes, and I’m yearning to make a trip into an undisturbed forest.