Keeping the Forest

Autumn has deepened, the insects have all but vanished, and the forest has divided into two camps. One is occupied by trees that invested heavily in leaves in the spring, soaked up the sun, and lived well in the good times. As soon as the weather turned, they dumped the leaves all over the forest floor, shedding everything they could to survive.

The other camp grew as much as was prudent in the spring. Slowly and steadily they added to themselves, but kept themselves strong. Now in autumn some parts may have browned, but they haven’t fallen. They’re still green.

While the first camp, the aspens, the maples, the zelkovas and all their friends, now look cold and bare, the second camp the pine trees, the cedars and the, uhm, other cedars (there are lots of cedars), look the same. Their basic green leaves become insulation for those weaker in the community. Without them, the naked wood, seemingly bereft of life, would be debris, not a forest.

秋が深まり、虫はほとんど姿を消し、森は2つの陣営に分かれる。1つ目は、春には葉に深く覆われ、陽の光を浴び、景気の良い時期を過ごした。気候が変わるとすぐに、林床一面に葉を捨て、生き残るために全てをそぎ落とす。

もう1つの陣営は、春に良識のある程度に生長した。ゆっくりかつ着実に枝葉を増やし、健全さを保った。秋である今、ある部分は茶色に変わったが、落葉してはいない。まだ緑のままだ。

第1陣営はアスペンや楓、檜とその仲間達で、今や剥き出しになり寒そうだ。第2陣営は松や杉、そして、えーっと、その他の杉(杉にも多くの種類がある)は以前と同じに見える。それら木々の葉はコミュニティの中の弱者にとっての断熱材となる。それ無しでは、一見命を奪われたような裸の木々は、森ではなく、残骸となってしまう。

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