F is for . . .

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “F”—as in, finished object, forests, and famous walkers.

Here’s the finished object.

Travel Shawl blocking

The Travel Shawl is off the needles! It was a great knit. I’ll say more about it later when I get some better photos, but the bottom line is that this was fun to work on and should be fun to wear. Here it is soaking.

Travel Shawl Soaking

And here it is on Rasta. I had to keep saying his name to get him to open his eyes. The shawl was like a sleeping potion. From the minute I put it over him, all he wanted to do was snuggle in and take a nap.

Rasta in Travel Shawl

Now I’m back to knitting Geek-A-Long squares. The current one is Sonic the Hedgehog. I’ll post a picture of it next time.

But moving on with the letter F, there was a shockingly wonderful article about forests in The New York Times yesterday. It’s about a German forest ranger named Peter Wohlleben who has written a book called The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate — Discoveries From a Secret World. Here’s the gist of it:

. . . trees in the forest are social beings. They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the “Wood Wide Web”; and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots.

I thought the “Wood Wide Web” bit might be a joke, but it’s not. It’s the popular name for what scientists call the mycorrhizal network, a web of fungal connections that links trees beneath the soil. This makes so much sense to me. I can’t wait to learn more. An English translation of the book is scheduled to be published in September.

Winter Trees

And finally in the land of F — famous walkers. I came across this fun BBC article on walking the other day. Like the article on forests, it addresses something I’ve always felt was true and important but that doesn’t get talked about very much, the benefits of “purposeless walking.” It makes so much sense that a lot of great thinkers and artists were avid walkers. The article lists a number of them and describes some of the ways in which they found walking “just to walk” so valuable. Give it a look if you’re at all interested in this sort of thing.

Before I wrap up, I should note that the idea of stringing together a series of unrelated-in-the-big-picture-but-connected-in-my-world things with a letter comes from Barefoot Rooster, who used to do it all the time . . . back when she blogged. Sigh. I miss you, Barefoot Rooster.


    • melinda

      Isn’t it the most awesome thing ever??!!! On some level I’ve always thought something like this must be the case, but it’s so cool to have the beginning of an explanation for it.

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