Atmosphere

The Right Angle for Rocks: Building Resilience

Note how the two stones below differ. The one in the foreground is rich with lichen, and producing nutrients for life at its base. The one above it, in the upper left of the image, not tipped towards the sun is lifeless by comparison. It’s a good lesson: place stones in the right orientation to the sun and they might become forests. Short forests, but forests nonetheless. Place them at the wrong angle, and they won’t.

This isn’t a black and white situation, though. The overgrown rockfall below, the bed of an eroded stream, shows how complex life is created by erosion, the baring of space, and then it’s slow infilling with silt, loess, organic matter and life, far richer and more diverse than the life on the open grassland itself. Both are complex environments, but this one deserves its own special respect.

The winter melt water is collected quite variously on the stones here. Each stone presents a different Earth to the sun, each uniquely expressing water, slope, and angle through their bulks. That’s not bad for an old ocean bed lifted up into the sky. It is a model of resilience, just the thing for long-term survival in a changing world.

2 replies »

  1. Re: ” It’s a good lesson: place stones in the right orientation to the sun and they might become forests. ” My tendency is to rush out and “manage” stones to become forests. Alas.

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