low angle photo of green tree during daytime

This morning on my walk I noticed a few trees with bark peeling off in big chunks. Were they molting, like ducks? Getting ready for Spring? Google of course could give me an answer in 0.004 seconds, but I wondered – shouldn’t I know this?

I could ask a horticulturist, but instead I turned to a book, and a good one it is. The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs by Tristan Gooley has lots of fun trivia not only about trees, but the moon, stars and sun, plant life and rivers, oceans and streams. Now I know that the tips of trees always lean to the south and bark is darker on the north side of the trunk. The Big Dipper tells time, and the sun’s direction can be determined by a tree’s roots.

No word on peeling bark, though. I ended up Googling it. (The bark comes off as a natural part of the shedding process).

Exercise: Nature is a great source of reflection journaling. Use your next outdoor walk to find something not manmade that intrigues you, and write about it.

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