Wednesday 31 May 2023

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 297

This week's picture is of a Sequoia tree (Redwood) that has fallen and regenerated from the old trunk - branches have become new trees. It was taken by Ron Levy of the Redwood World website, which follows and tracks the Redwood groves in the UK, which is a big thing going on to combat climate change. This particular photo was taken at the Royal Forestry Society's Redwood Grove in Leighton, Montgomeryshire, in Wales. There are few sites in Wales and several across the UK.

A brief glimpse into Tricky as I'm getting ready to start writing Book 3 tomorrow for JuNoWriMo. The last Tricky piece was on Week 295

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

A fallen Redwood (Sequoia) tree trunk in a Redwood Grove in Wales, UK, is lying on the ground and three large Redwood trees are growing up out of the fallen trunk. Taken by Ron Levy for his Redwood website, during the Royal Forestry Society's Redwood Grove meeting in Leighton


“You showed us how to be, how to grow, how to stick together. You fed each other and built a community of sturdy solid wood. And even when you fell you showed us how to regenerate and build stronger and better.

“We haven’t yet managed to do that. We almost wiped ourselves out entirely and though we are growing back I am not sure it will be stronger or better. Again it begins: the manipulation, the fighting, the greed. An endless cycle of ‘mine is better than yours’, and ‘I want what you have so I will take it’.

“We haven’t learned from you – most of us at least. We haven’t understood the way to just be and exist. We always want more; always believe there should be more; that we have a right to have more. We’re a dissatisfied species.”

Tricky sat on the fallen Red talking to it, and admired its offspring which had grown tall, and majestic. She wished humans would understand how much it mattered to the continuance of their species to learn those lessons. But sadly the few had to always ruin it for the many.

She heard the flock fidget in the branches above and glanced up. Merlin alighted on one of the lower branches. He squawked at her and she understood his warning, packing up the tiny lunch of nuts and seeds and tucking it into her pocket.

It was time to move on; they were tracking her and Merlin clearly thought they were too close for comfort. But she wasn’t far now. Though she didn’t know these trees personally, she knew which species lived where, and from here it wasn’t much further until she would hit the river, Blood River as it was called. She shuddered at the meaning behind the name.

She just needed to get across it and she was home and dry – so to speak. Then she had to face the next tricky situation. But Tricky knew tricky and it wasn’t half as tricky as what she had just been through. So she quickly dusted off her skirts and go moving.  

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    “One day, every building will be built this way. Can you imagine it?” Heath had become evangelical, as he often did when something he’d planned showed the first hints of coming together.” My ingenuity and Mother Nature aligned together. A symbiosis of design without any harmful waste products. This is a vision of our collective futures: there’ll be no need for polluting sawmills or metal fitments; our engineering know-how will make all those redundant. If we can patent this first, all the building contractors in the world will come running to our door, anxious to give us their money for our knowledge.”

    “It looks like a lumber yard to me. I thought you’d come up with something useful.” I kicked at one of the logs; it rang out dull, as though it was rotten.

    “It’s still in the conceptual stage. You need to look ahead. I find it hard to believe we’re related sometimes.” Heath pulled up a piece of a stump he’d already cut to length: a crudely formed wooden stool. He’d placed another on the other side of the tree’s base, its trunk cut away, making it into a table.

    “This is all a bit too Robinson Crusoe for my liking,” I wise-cracked, shuffling my ass onto the second stool. “You better be careful; you might get a splinter.”

    I was happy to listen to him talk, of course. He often came up with ideas we could make money from. Even the worst ideas can be profitable if you present them with panache at the right time. Being the first to put them onto the market: the people who do that can usually make a killing, letting the ones that followed them do the grunt work of refining what they’d done, making their product smaller, more streamlined and then ultimately fashionable.

    “I’m thinking of marketing it as a tree house,” Heath continued. “And selling it as a product in my Heath Kit range. I can see this being the item I can build my brand name on. Moving away from electronics and radios: there’s no future in battery-powered doohickies based on semiconductors or valves.”

    Looking around, I saw a tree that had fallen. I didn’t know if it had made a sound – I hadn’t been there. What I could tell, though, was that it hadn’t died in vain. There were young saplings shooting up from the trunk of the first tree, uniformly sized, each reaching up toward the sun. They appeared to have sprouted out at regular intervals, like ribs from a spinal column, creating a cage that could be built upon.

    I didn’t know how he’d done it, but it was a miracle. Heath seemed to excel at everything he applied his attention to.

    If only he could maintain his focus on a single discipline without deviating toward the next set of ideas that would attract his brilliant mind. We could easily have been millionaires five times over.

    If only. If only. If only - I hear you all cry.