Sunday, April 27, 2014

Missing the Tree for the Forest

I'll share another photo I took today, of one of the more amazing trees I can ever recall seeing. It's an old Japanese cedar tree (sugi, or Cryptomeria).



On the right is the main trunk, about seven feet in diameter. On the left is what appears to be a second tree, growing out of the branch of the main tree. Broken roots can clearly be seen hanging down from the daughter tree. I've never seen something like this, and am at a loss to explain it, as sugi do not sucker and even if they did, some really bizarre landslide would be required to suspend a tree over a twenty-foot cliff.

What was disappointing to me, however, was that as I sat there and ate my lunch exactly from the vantage point of that picture, around two hundred Japanese passed me by in their way up or down the mountain. Not one noticed this. Instead, they were all looking at some tiny little natural spring off to the left of the picture. Why? Because there was a sign there that gave a name to the spring, and if there is a sign, it must be important. No one bothered to look up and see what really matters.