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aries1988 : forest   6

To really get to know the tallest trees in the world, start with their leaves
In most of the world, logging is now largely the work of massive machinery. But in the steeply sloped woods above Lake Ägeri in Switzerland, a combination of chainsaws, jacks, muscles and gravity is still the most effective means of bringing down trees for lumber. Once every four years, skilled loggers travel to the area to collect mature trees in a sustainable harvesting tradition that, in turn, allows saplings to take in sunlight and flourish. After felling the trees at careful angles, the workers send them careening through the woods with spectacular speed and force until they reach the water below with a satisfying splash. From there, the timber is floated downriver into town. The loggers’ confident expertise masks the immense dangers of the job, which could easily turn deadly in an instant. With stunning cinematography, Ins holz (In the woods) offers a rare look at this nearly extinct practice and the culture that surrounds it, making for a deeply visceral and visually stunning celebration of a hard day’s work.
forest  reportage  swiss  worker 
january 2019 by aries1988
Inside the World’s Largest Walnut Forest - Roads & Kingdoms
As you enter the forest, the smell of wood and coal fires near the village gives way to an earthy richness, as the muddy ebony paths crisscross over and around undulating hills. Tire tracks from Lada Niva cars— the tank-like 4x4s ubiquitous across former Soviet states—mingle with horse and donkey hooves, churning the cloying mud into an even thicker mess, greatly slowing attempts to walk.
stans  forest  middle-asia  village  urss  myth  Tourism 
july 2017 by aries1988
Jeremy Paxman on Europe’s last wilderness - FT.com
https://www.instapaper.com/read/722133131
Romania may not be the envy of the European Union for many things, but in one it should be: the mountains of Carpathia house the last great wilderness of this prosperous, crowded continent.

Walk through the arboreal gloaming — where the air is pungent, the ground is strewn with fallen branches or thick with dried needles and leaves, and feldspar pebbles glitter silver in the streams — and you feel reconnected with some primeval sense of how the continent was before the Habsburgs and Napoleon, before even Greece and Rome.

While forests are embedded deep in the Romanians’ sense of themselves, the Carpathian Mountains marked the boundary between Transylvania and Wallachia, which held very different concepts of ownership in the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires. It took years but, by the early 21st century, restitution was under way.

The history of the European continent is one of relentless exploitation of the land: civilisations have risen and fallen, leaving their mark in how they tamed the world. In the elegant explanation of the historian Sir Keith Thomas, uncultivated land meant uncultivated men.

what struck a chord with almost everyone was his talk of the tonic of wildness. In 1864, President Lincoln signed the first order creating a protected wilderness, in Yosemite, California. The patron saint of the American conservation movement, the Scots-American John Muir, wrote: Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilised people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.

This is the last place in Europe where all wildlife and forest components are present, says Promberger. Walking through these forests makes you understand your place in nature and it has become my purpose in life to safeguard them from the greedy timber mafia.

The Fundatia Conservation Carpathia, founded by Barbara and Christoph, hopes for more philanthropists, nursing an ambition to create in Romania a Yellowstone or Serengeti for Europe, in the words of a British supporter, Paul Lister. One day, they dream, the country might become the Costa Rica of Europe.
forest  nature  europe  communism  business  east-europe  timeless  instapaper_favs 
may 2016 by aries1988
A Hint of Danger in the Forest
Andrew Zuckerman A few years ago, I walked through an English forest with an old friend who told me there was something living in it that I had never seen…
animal  story  forest 
february 2016 by aries1988
Sex, Death and Mushrooms - The New York Times
Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungi that live as networks called mycelia, made up of tiny branching threads. Some are parasitic, others feed on decaying matter and many are mycorrhizal, growing in and around plant roots and sharing nutrients with their host. Picking a mushroom doesn’t kill the fungus; in a sense, you’re merely plucking a flower from a hidden, thready tangle which may be vast and very ancient: One honey fungus in Oregon covers almost four square miles and is at least 2,400 years old.

A mushroom can contain more than one kind of toxin, and the toxicity can change according to whether it has been cooked, how it has been cooked, whether it has been eaten with alcohol or fermented before ingestion.

Many toxic fungi closely resemble edible ones, and differentiating each from each requires careful examination, dogged determination and the inspection of spores stained and measured under a microscope slide.
explained  mushroom  nature  fun  story  forest 
november 2015 by aries1988

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