Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What you can learn from these real trees

One interesting thing that playing a resto druid in this game has given me is a greater appreciation for all things arboreal. During my cross country drive a couple months ago, somehow the most amazing trees would catch my eye wherever we went. It was like I had this "track cool trees" ability turned on. I would definitely say that us resto druids have a great pride and love for our tree form. So with this is mind, I present to you some amazing real life trees and what we can learn from them.

1. Tree of Life, Bahrain

This 400 year old mesquite tree stands out in the middle of a desert in Bahrain in a place completely free of water. The mystery of the survival of the tree has made it a legend, and many come to visit what they call a representation of the magic of life. A local legend says that the site where the tree is located was the actual location of the Garden of Eden.

I especially love this tree. In one way it looks kind of lonely and sad to me, though in another it just seems so mythical... so magical... so inspiring. What can we learn from it? Well if this tree can somehow survive without a known water source, we can certainly learn how to not run out of mana, can't we?

2. ChĂȘne-Chapelle of Allouville-Bellefosse

This amazing oak tree is known as the most famous tree in France. It is actually a tree and a religious chapel in one! In 1669, two priests decided to build a chapel in what was at the time a 500 years old or so oak tree that had been made hollow by a lightning bolt. The priests built a small altar to the Virgin Mary and later on, a second chapel and a staircase were added.

Let's say a raid is going poorly. What to do, what to do? Well if you are lucky enough to have a resto druid with you, obviously the tree can not only heal, but can do double duty as your own personal traveling chapel. Have all raid members kneel in prayer before the tree.

3. Old Tjikko, Sweden

Old Tjikko has been determined as the world's oldest individual clone-tree at 9,550 years old. The tree has survived this long due to a cloning process that many trees are able to take advantage of. Parts of the tree may die and regrow multiple times, while the tree's root system remains intact. For example a trunk may only live for about 600 years, but when one trunk dies another eventually grows back in its place.

I think Old Tjikko gives us a couple lessons to think about. First of all, us trees are resilient. Cut us down? We'll just clone ourselves. We aint going anywhere. Deal with it. (Heh) Secondly, I think this tree reminds us that looks are deceiving. You look at the picture of this tree and maybe think "What? That's the oldest tree in the world?" So maybe you encounter someone in a raid or an instance and at first glance they may not be as well geared. Well, as has often been mentioned elsewhere, gear doesn't tell the entire story. This person's skill may outplay their gear. Just remember Old Tjikko. :)

4. Pando, Utah

Aspen trees form large stands of genetically identical trees. These trees are almost like stems connected by a single underground root system. The largest known fully-connected Aspen is a grove in Utah called Pando. It is claimed by some to be the largest organism in the world, by mass or volume, with an estimated weight of 6,600 tons. The name Pando comes from the Latin for 'I spread'. It has also been nicknamed the Trembling Giant, after the aspen's rattling leaves.

I think Pando teaches us that you mess with one of us resto druids, you're messing with all of us trees. We may not all be genetically identical, but we're a tight knit bunch. Its sort of like there is this tree sisterhood/brotherhood that doesn't need to be said or defined... it just is.

5. Kite Eating Tree, Peanuts

And finally, what does the kite eating tree from the Peanuts teach us all? Do not fly kites around us trees. To us, they are nom noms. Ok? Ok.

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