The thousand-year rose

And they mean that literally. I just learned about the Rose of Hildesheim. A Rosa canina, or wild dog rose, it is thought to be about 700 years old. Among the many feats of its long life, it was bombed during WWII. Not that the rose was a target, I’m sure, but the cathedral, which gave it support, was. All the above-ground shrub was believed to have been destroyed but the roots were intact. The stone rubble created something of a haven for the rose while the half-timbered houses around it burned.

I read something about a thousand year rose and then did a web search. There’s a good wikipedia page with links to other references.

What does sustainability mean for me?

I just read (well, skimmed) a Brookings Institute article that asks about land use in general. Trees are, and should be, part of land use, of course. (This is, after all, pretty much a plant-focused blog!) What I like about the article is that it takes a hard look (in a broad brushstroke sort of way) at many factors that could be tightened up in our sprawling lifestyle. It feels to me a bit like when someone notices that you’ve put on just a bit too much weight – the proverbial spare tire. Dieting isn’t fun but it does get results. At its most dramatic it may save your life. And, the sort of dieting proposed in this article may well save not only your life but the life of the planet.

Making Paper

Another good resource for unusual reads… The Conversation boasts “academic rigor, journalistic flair.” So far, I’ve read some great stories there. This one is from something called Curious Kids and is a question submitted by a 6-year old child: “How do people make paper out of trees, and why not use something else?”  I must say I find it very humbling because I certainly wasn’t asking questions like that at that age!

The answer is a thoughtful survey of writing (and drawing) and materials to write on (and paint on) beginning 73,000 years ago. It ends with speculations on the future of paper from trees.

An interesting and quick read.