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The Unseen World at Your Feet

Posted by
Eric Cousineau (Sherwood Park, Canada) on 3 November 2010 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

A living redwood tree, or any other plant depends on the decaying plant and animal material around it. Without this material, the nutritional value in the forest eventually would be depleted. As many as 700 species are constantly feeding opportunistically on any plant or animal material they come in contact with in the soil. If you sit quietly, it would not be long before you would see something fall from the canopy.

Litterfall, made up of lichens, leaves, branches, pollens, cones, webs, droppings, etc., steadily falls to the forest floor. It will be attacked by fungi and bacteria. Animals such as termites, beetles, millipedes, centipedes, and rodents. will also start to break down this material. They in turn will become prey for other animals as the struggle to live and reproduce goes on at many levels of this complex system. After this litterfall decays into essential nutrients, it will be taken back up by tree roots and returned to the canopy, continuing the cycle of life. Never can one event happen within the forest without it affecting the other parts of the forest. The simple act of walking through an undisturbed area will change it.

PENTAX K200D 1/45 second F/4.0 ISO 400 57 mm (35mm equiv.)

Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.
Benjamin Franklin

I don't think of myself as a role model. I do try to live in a compassionate, considerate and positive way. The only advice I can offer is to find what you love to do, find the joy in it, and express yourself through your passion.
~Barry Williams

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Fantastic framing there and a great capture of the light. It's a lovely shade of green and I like the detail we can see in the canopy of leaves. Interesting description you provide of the cycle of life in the forest.

3 Nov 2010 6:48am

@Stephen: Thank you very much Stephen! Yes, the lighting is unique as the canopy of leaves blocks the sun and filters the light...... ;-)

mo.langel from Courtelary, Switzerland

Très belle image, une superbe lumière et des couleurs magnifiques dans cette immense forêt!

3 Nov 2010 9:05am

@mo.langel: Merci beaucoup Mo! ;-)

Mhelene from Paris, France

A wonderful picture ! Light and colors are beautiful and you are right the ground is important !

3 Nov 2010 9:34am

@Mhelene: Thank you very much Mhelene! ;-)

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Excellent shot that is a big tree.. life cycle of the forest is very interesting.

3 Nov 2010 9:49am

@Sarito: Thank you very much Sarito! ;-)

Marie LC from Dauphiné, France

Je respire...

3 Nov 2010 10:09am

@Marie LC: Merci Marie ! Je suis heureux de que vous respirent plus facile..... ;-)

DowsherVision from PARIS, France

Great shot !!!

3 Nov 2010 10:22am

@DowsherVision: Thank you very much DowsherVision! ;-)

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, Florida, United States

Here is a case where we don't even want to leave footprints, in this living, breathing miracle of the life cycle.
I'm sure these 'giants' were thankful for your appreciation as you captured their magnificent beauty.

3 Nov 2010 10:39am

@Judy aka L@dybug: Thank you very much Judy! All I know for sure is that I am still in awe...... ;-)

Christel from Köln, Germany

Good morning Eric
The atmosphere in this picture is very beautiful. I especially like the incident light between the trees and the shadows. The general view including color and detail are excellent for expression. The forest survived miraculously with all the trimmings. Thank you for the interesting information. 5 stars *****
Have a nice day and all the best including your family. Dear greetings Christel

3 Nov 2010 12:47pm

@Christel: Thank you very much Christel! You are very kind! ;-)

P. Morris from Canada

Extremely beautiful capture, Eric, all I can say is this is perfection and you got
such amazing photos. The light and color are glorious.

3 Nov 2010 12:54pm

@P. Morris: Thank you very much Phil! ;-)

Sarah from Suisse, Switzerland


3 Nov 2010 1:08pm

@Sarah: Thank you very much Sarah and welcome to my blog! Please come back and visit soon..... ;-)

Ioanaz from Bucharest, Romania

wow amazing forest with such tall trees, great shot!

3 Nov 2010 1:47pm

@Ioanaz: Thank you very much Ioanaz! ;-)

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

wonderful trees

3 Nov 2010 2:03pm

@john4jack: Thank you Jack! ;-)

Barbara from Florida, United States

While they appear to stand strong and beautiful, your image and narrative documents just how fragile our world is.
We push on destroying it while it continues to renew itself.

3 Nov 2010 2:11pm

@Barbara: Thank you very much Barbara! Unfortunately the renewal takes far too long..... ;-)

Terral from Ponoka, Alberta, Canada

Amazing looking trees. Wonderful light and shadows.

3 Nov 2010 2:18pm

@Terral: Thank you very much Terral! ;-)

Larry Elkins from Bisbee, United States

Beautiful image - great commentary

3 Nov 2010 3:40pm

@Larry Elkins: Thank you very much Larry! ;-)

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

I like this tree a lot ! A very nice shot

3 Nov 2010 3:56pm

@Calusarus: Thank you very much Fred! ;-)

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

I love being deep in the forest, and just listening....

3 Nov 2010 3:57pm

@B. Thomas: Thank you very much Barbara! Yes, the treesong is awesome to listen to....... ;-)

kate maher from United Kingdom

beautiful sunlight in there a stunning scene Eric........ yes walking upon the land changes it!
we are part of it all....... so for me it is how we walk upon the land! . this is from a poem/chant that I like..
Tread gently on the Earth,Breathe gently of the Air,
Lie gently in the Water,Touch gently to the Fire.
Earth my Body,Water my Blood,Air my Breath,And Fire my Spirit...
Tall Trees, Warm Fires,Strong Winds, Deep Waters
I feel it in my body,I feel it in my Soul......:)

3 Nov 2010 5:16pm

@kate maher: Thank you very much Kate! A beautiful poem and very appropriate in this case. The battle to preserve old growth forests is never ending as corporate greed grows...... ;-)

Dutçh from Chicagoland, United States

Oooo nice tall photo. Love the perspective and all the shadows!

3 Nov 2010 5:53pm

@Dutçh: Thank you very much Kristen! ;-)

Lalena from Barcelona, Spain

So nice!! Excellent shot!

3 Nov 2010 6:43pm

@Lalena: Thank you very much Lalena! ;-)

El pare from Prepirineu, Andorra

Are this large trees sequoias? Eric are absolutely right in your comment. Best wishes.

3 Nov 2010 7:07pm

@El pare: Thank you very much Manel! These trees are giant redwoods. Redwoods and Sequoias are very different trees. The wood of each may be red, and the cones may both be small, each have very tall examples, but they are very different. Redwoods are coastal -- northern California coast primarily. Sequoias are inland (currently in a series of groves on the western slope of the Sierra from about Yosemite to southern Sequoia. ;-)

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

And as a bonus, all that stuff falling on the forest floor gives it a bounce like a wrestling mat...totally cool and I love it - great shot Mr Eric!!

3 Nov 2010 7:34pm

@Denny Jump Photo: Thank you very much Denny! I am glad you are enjoying the series..... ;-)

PATRICK from miramas, France

wow very great capture

3 Nov 2010 10:49pm

@PATRICK: Thank you very much Patrick! ;-)

Satvik from Columbus, United States

Wow, what a magnificent tree ! Awesome capture Eric, thanks for the interesting info on the redwood forests.

4 Nov 2010 1:06am

@Satvik: Thank you very much Satvik! Hopefully I can do these wonderful giants justice in this series.... ;-)

Georgie from Sherwood Park, Canada

The sun peeking through the canopy adds a reverence to this most beautiful cathedral. An awesome capture!!

4 Nov 2010 1:08am

@Georgie: Thank you very much George! Your comment is most appropriate. It is very much like entering a cathedral. A cathedral dedicated to the wonders of Mother Nature.... ;-)

Ralph Jones from Detroit, United States

What beautiful and majestic trees, redwoods are on my bucket list.

4 Nov 2010 2:23am

@Ralph Jones: Thank you very much Ralph! I guarantee you will not be disappointed...... ;-)

Sunder from Chennai, India

Fantastic shot! Great capture of the light...
Nice composition and colours...

4 Nov 2010 2:39am

@Sunder: Thank you very much Sunder! ;-)

Becky from los angeles, United States

wow! fantastic image! The strength these amazing trees exude - and your text - really wonderful.

4 Nov 2010 3:34am

@Becky: Thank you very much Becky! Yes, strength and an amazing wisdom almost..... ;-)

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

I love your introduction, very interesting information! I was aware of it all through a documentary on TV. Japanese do many such broadcasts on nature.I believe that walking in such a place is exactly like walking inside a cathedral where Mother Nature is Goddess, so we have to pay our respects and teach it to the children,too. We have some such forest on Mount Takao, on the outskirts of Tokyo, where the whole mountain (forest included) is a Shrine.

4 Nov 2010 6:36am

@Japanalia: Thank you very much Gabriela! Yes, after having been inside these forests I can understand why it has been deemed a shrine.... ;-)

StarCosmosBleu from Bedford.Qc, Canada

Its a great shot...and a true statement about nature,s cycle...that,s why i love national and provincial forest..they are well protected...

4 Nov 2010 12:37pm

@StarCosmosBleu: Thank you Marcel! Yes, but we must remain vigilant and ensure the protection of these grand old trees! ;-)

1/45 second
ISO 400
57 mm (35mm equiv.)