It’s been 13 hours in a lab, creating precipitates, waiting, adding an acid and then titrating it slowly after it changes to a pretty colour. For my final project I’m comparing two species of kelps (giant kelp and bull kelp) and looking at which creates more oxygen in the same amount of time under light, since one species is a perennial and one is an annual. I’ve hypothesized that the annual would have a higher rate of photosynthesis because it has to grow so fast in a shorter period of time before dying. it was really fun collecting the kelp because I had to drive the boat in a pretty wave exposed area, so I had to manoeuvre it towards rocks while my bros hung over the edge and cut the blades for me. Independent projects aren’t so independent. It now makes sense that researchers have field assistants.
Also, did you know that photosynthesis isn’t just a fancy mechanism that happens for humans to breathe oxygen, and it’s actually how the plant provides food for itself? I was surprised that I was surprised. This world revolves around human wants and desires, so why wouldn’t it create oxygen for humans to breathe? Lols silly egos.
Anyhoo, there are so many little errors that could, and are, happening along the way with this project. It’s okay though, because I get to do chemistry I thought I’d never do after grade 12 and play with substances that if ingested, direct you like this: “If conscious, drink 4 cups of milk or water.” If conscious…
I got up this morning at 5:30 to drive my classmates to the West side of Bamfield. I’m the only one in my class with a license and I love driving and love helping, so it’s okay with me.
I’ve realized that if you’re going to be miserable (from lack of sleep and long hours swirling solutions in this case), then it’s best to be miserable because you volunteered your services for someone else. It feels better and makes more sense. Typing this out is the only thing that’s keeping me awake at this point.
So I’ve actually gathered you all here to talk about the forest.
I can’t stop thinking this:
Forests are the only place I have ever seen so much life in one place and the most remarkable thing is,
Everything is growing right before your eyes and doesn’t make a peep.
The bouncy piles of fallen leaves that make up the floor, and the fireworks of dazzling green needles in the canopy has been the easiest place to whisper my sadnesses and happinesses to.
It’s a place that I can share a moment of peace with – instead of giving or receiving.
It’s a mutual understanding of being. (Picture yourself resting under a tree with your eyes closed. The trees are doing the same thing)
I’ve been thinking a lot about how unnatural death feels to humans, but how very natural it is to everything else.
The forest is okay with life and it’s very okay with death too.
It sighs a deep breathe of pain when a an old cedar falls, but sparkles with pride when that cedar provides the perfect start for moss, salal and even hemlock trees to grow. My friend Beni said it well today, “I just don’t know how to thank the forest when I leave it.”
For me, God speaks clearest through his favourite medium: nature. There isn’t a single thing in an old growth forest that doesn’t have his signature all over it. It’s too perfect, too complex and too peaceful to be a coincidence. A forest is so perfectly designed that it’s not possible to leave having seen every bit of life in it.
The number one thing I’ve learned in field school, is that there is no such thing as coincidences in nature. Every living thing does every little thing with a purpose. Evolution? Totally. God? Undoubtedly.
So basically, 40-Winkler-titrations-in-a-day later, I’m so happy that my brain is foggy because I’m studying something that might as well be magic. Two saltwater surviving giants that grow over 25m in some places and provide the same ecological role a terrestrial forest provides but underwater? Please.
So, here are some basic guidelines on how to properly use a forest (or kelp forest):
1) Your neck should be sore when you leave, from looking straight up and straight down at the life delicately hung on every branch and craftily hidden under every soggy log.
2) Your brain should be hungry with questions.
3) Your heart should feel inspired.
Please appreciate the art (and maybe the artist).