This week’s advice is more about observations and less about advice. When I look at trees or even wooden furniture I’m always amazed and look for faces or patterns.
This week I started to think about a few of the cool things I have seen in trees often caused by insects but also by mushrooms.
When I’m in my car I almost always miss some of the coolest things in nature. When I’m riding my bike or running I usually miss the details, but when I slow down and walk or just stop in the woods then I start to see some of the hidden beauty and art.
Below are insect galleries in elm wood from the elm bark beetle:
Below are galleries from Southern Pine Beetle:
The below picture is the twig girdler insect that chews a circular notch in the tree branch after she inserts her eggs in the stem. The stem then dies and when the wind blows the branch breaks and falls to the ground, where the larva overwinters and eventually will hatch:
Below if you look closely you might find a cordyceps mushroom growing out of the body of an ant. The story of how this happens is amazing and you must look it up. But basically, the mushroom takes over the ant, guides the ant to bite into the limb, and then the mushroom takes over the ant’s body. Zombie Ants:
Bees are just amazing in every way! Below, the patterns of the bald-faced hornet nest always amaze me…but if you know this bee, it also scares me too.
My advice is to slow down, maybe get on your hands and knees sometimes, and see what you can find in the woods or your own backyard.