A Tree
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founded 2004 by ron cruger
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 by Frank Shortt
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        There are many uses for a tree. It becomes a thing of beauty in springtime. Bees, hummingbirds, and insects live off nectar in its blossoms. The blossoms, after providing protection for the forthcoming fruit, are consumed by ants and bugs of all species.
        During the summer, trees provide shade for animals and weary travelers. Branches are used by recalcitrant youngsters to swing on and climb, defying the laws of gravity as well as their anxious parent or guardian. These same branches carry life to the end of themselves to feed the leaves and fruit the tree provides. Birds and tree-climbing animals make their nests in the branches. Leaves hide these nests from predators.
        Trees help to oxygenate the soil by spreading their root systems in all directions. Other plants benefit from this process as water and nutrients travel along the ever-searching roots for life giving moisture. Also, by osmosis, a tree helps to clean the very air every creature breathes for life.
        If the tree happens to be of a fruit-bearing variety, food is provided for humans, animals, insects, and lastly at the bottom of the scale, returns to the dust. All the nutrients in the fruit become fertilizer for the tree as well as other plants around it.
        A tree is a wonderful example of the circle of life. First, the budding represents youth. Blossoms represent maturity and the beauty of humankind. Leaves, as they turn from green to brown, represent the changes of a human life from the cradle to the grave.
As the first cold blasts of late autumn come rumbling down from the north, something inside the tree forces the sap down to the roots to be buried for the winter. Does this mean the end of life for the tree? If it is a healthy tree the warm rays of spring sunlight begins to draw the sap back up to the branches of the tree resurrecting life once again.
        If for some reason the sap is blocked from resurrecting, the tree dies. Then it becomes a habitat for animals of all species. Knotholes are used by squirrels for hiding and nesting. Bark is used for food by insects. Woodpeckers search incessantly for the bugs hiding underneath the bark and make holes for other insects’ homes. As the tree deteriorates, it is sometimes used for firewood by humans, lumber for houses, fences, etc. Rabbits, as well as other small animals, hide and nest underneath the rotting root systems. As the roots become hollow, lizards, bugs, snakes, and mice, uses the root system as a freeway to travel back and forth. Ants use this freeway system to travel back and forth in their endless search for food.
        Of all nature’s bounties, a tree is probably one of the most useful creations in the whole universe. It is used by birds, animals, reptiles, and human beings alike for food, for shelter, for recreation, and shows forth a perfect example of resurrection.
         It is amazing how that a human being so resembles a tree.