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left: Rings of old-growth Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii),
Credit & Copyright: Dr. Bruce G.
Explanation: Last week EPOW celebrated its one-year anniversary. That got us to pondering the dimension of time ... personal, ecological, and cosmic.
Pictured here, first,
rings of an old-growth Douglas-fir tree in the
Pacific Northwest, U.S. Old-growth Douglas-firs can be anywhere
to 1,000 years old, or older. Consider that an average human life span
of approximately 75 years is only 38% to as little as 8% or less of the age of
such a tree. Worse yet, say that the average duration of a forest manager's career is 25 years; this is only 13% to as little as 3% or less of the age of an old-growth Douglas-fir tree! It would take 8 to 40 or more generations of
forest managers just to span the age of one old-growth tree!
If the age of the earth is approximately
four billion years old, and Homo sapiens has been on Earth for
approximately two million years, then we’ve been on Earth for only 0.0005, or 1/20th of one
percent, of the age of the Earth. Eyes don't blink this
numbers continue to grow, and as we continue to dominate this sparking
of a planet, let us ponder how little we have truly known the ecosystems,
biosphere, and universe upon which we depend for our continued existence.
Next week's picture: Thick-tailed Bushbaby
Author & Webmaster: Dr.
Bruce G. Marcot, Tom Bruce
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Original material on Ecology Picture of the Week © Bruce G. Marcot
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