What’s the Plant Connection?

I talk about whatever occurs to me here (well, not everything that occurs to me). For going on two years now, I’ve been talking about this video project I want to complete, and sometimes I talk about plants when I’m talking about the project. It’s not just that I personally enjoy plants, or that I enjoy everything more when I learn more about it. Plants are an integral part of the project, even for people who don’t know they have a reason to care.

Sharing nature’s gifts along the trail as much as possible, that’s a major piece of what the project is about. And the way nature supports life on the planet, that matters to everyone. But there is more, from the most obvious things like the tree lined parts of the trail being cooler in summer, but sunnier and warmer in winter, to the most basic. Photosynthesis supports life on earth. It makes you and me possible. Understanding more of the bits that make our planet habitable is self preservation. It’s all connected.

Passion flower, or Passiflora incarnata, native from Oklahoma and Texas up to the Great Lakes and across to the Atlantic regions, down through Florida, it covers, the area where Long Leaf Pine was once prevalent and more.

Plants are at the bottom of the food chain. They support all of the nature and humans on the trail. When we take care to let them do their thing, they return the favor. When they suffer and die, we can ignore it or compensate in some ways for a certain amount of time, but eventually it will catch up. If the ecosystem gets out of balance we get things like “sunny day flooding” in more places.

Some trail users wonder what it is that is blooming and where they can get one for their yard. Fewer people wonder if it’s native, whether it’s invasive, whether they should plant it, or what might be a better choice. Some of those people who don’t think to ask about the effect of planting something like an invasive seen on the trail do actually care about effects and would plant something different if they knew. Maybe there’s something they’d rip up and replace if they knew what it was and what it did and how that effects the trail, the ecosystem or them.

Little things can add up and hopefully people will read a post or more. Maybe someone might end up valuing plants and ecosystems a little more, recognizing the importance of keeping systems that support life healthy. Small things add up.

So, I hope you’re enjoying the talk about plants and we’ll see you out there with the plants and others on the trail.

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