Thursday, October 26, 2006

Upon still further reflection...

Steve has a point... Although as someone who lives across the pond in Germany, sometimes his points might be a little hard for us “auslanders” to understand.

I mean, in my last posts I was discussing the dangers from attacks from various sea creatures, right? Later I moved on to land creatures, birds, and even microorganisms.

But then Steve cautions, “It's not just breathing things we have to watch out for.”

Do Stingrays breathe? I mean sure, they pass water across their gills, but is that breathing? And the microorganisms I spoke of? They can survive in all kinds of environments, and they don’t have lungs OR gills. Some don’t even need oxygen to survive. Do they breathe?

But, okay, Steve was talking about plants. And the more I thought about this, the more sense it made. He referred to “The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.” But I immediately thought of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and how the ents rounded up the trees of Fanghorn Forest, herded them to the battle raging at Helms Deep, and how the orcs and other creatures fled into the trees but never came out.

I’m not just talking about plants that are poisonous. I’m talking about killer trees.

I’ll bet you think that happens only in fiction, right? Well, let me refer you to a fascinating passage in the Bible. Please turn with me to 2 Samuel, chapter 18. Are you there yet? That’s OK; we’ll wait while you find it.

What’s happening is this: Absolom, a son of King David (yes the same guy who slew Goliath -- remember him?) wants to be king, but there’s just one little problem... His father, David, the current king, isn’t dead yet.

Absolom figures he will hurry up the process, and rounds up an army to fight against David and HIS army to see who will rule Israel. Here’s the Bible’s description of the scene (New International Version):

2 Samuel 18: 6 The army (of King David) marched into the field to fight Israel, and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. 7 There the army of Israel was defeated by David's men, and the casualties that day were great—twenty thousand men. 8 The battle spread out over the whole countryside, and the forest claimed more lives that day than the sword. (Emphasis added.)

I am NOT making this up! It’s right there!

So, Steve, you’re right. We have a LOT more to worry about concerning creatures living things that might attack us than just those things that seem to be able to move across the landscape.

But y’know, trees breathe too. Isn’t that what photosynthesis is all about? Taking in CO2 and giving off O2?

I'm getting more confused.

Damn! Where ARE my meds?


Peter said...

HEEEEY.... I just added you to my sidebar 'n now you post this.... Where the hell is that delete button????

Hale McKay said...

LOL at Peter's comments. (Don't take that Aussie too seriously.)Good post, John.

I guess I can only conclude that "you can't see the forest for the trees!"

Anonymous said...

John, thanks for the biblical conformation that there has been a plant problem, going back to the days before CNN could document them. Here’s a couple of plants that we need to keep our eyes on.

Tropical Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes): The Nepenthes rajah has traps large enough to eat rats. Some plants grow over 50 feet long and have hundreds of traps.

Venus Flytrap (Dioneae muscipula): It lures flies, spiders, and other prey into its trap with a sweet odor. The Venus Flytrap is found in only one place in the world and that is in a swamp in what was once an ancient meteorite crater in North Carolina.

Imagine if global warming caused their cells to go into overdrive and they grew to enormous sizes. Watch out...

Christina said...