A Leaf

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Even in the image of a dead leaf, we can see beauty. The intricate veins, which once transported food and water through the leaf, no longer preform this vital function. Yet we still find remnants of its elaborate lacework.

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And this visage of demise also gives us reason for hope. Because of this leaf, and what it provides, a new season of life is brought forth and flourishes.

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6 Responses to A Leaf

  1. Finn Holding says:

    The cycle of life goes on… neatly encapsulated in a decaying leaf.

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  2. Beautifully captured, both in word and image.

    Like

  3. Anonymous says:

    Rick, nicely put. One point that is often over looked, is that leaves, even in death, continue to nurish the tree. As they are decomposed by fungi, bacteria , earthworms, insects and other organism, the nutrients stored within them are gradually released back to the soil, where they become available to the plant roots for uptake, starting the cycle again. Have you ever noticed the blanket of leaves that accumulate on the forest floor or beneath individual or small groups of trees? This layer is vital to trees and other plants. It serves to protect the soil form temperture extremes, minimize compaction, and improve soil structure– the aggregaion of soil particles into larger particles. The end result is improved drainage, aeration, and root penetration. Yet, in urban areas, we remove it and cart off the material to the local landfill. What a waste. It would be far better to allow the material to accumulate or to augment it with organic woody debris, such as tree chips which there is a surplus of. There is complex ecosystem in the soil involving a myriad of organisms utilizing organic matter from tree and plant that grow there, and from other sources. The energy and mineral bound within the organic matter is used by the living organisms, some of which prey to other organisms, and when they die ,the minerals originally bound in the organic matter, e.g., nitrogen phosphorous, potassium, calcium, etc. are available to plants for uptake. Even the fine roots of plants, which are continually being shed, are recycled in this manner. So, leaves even in death are great value to trees and other plants.

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