Autumn Copper Beech and Magnolia

The birds love trees. It is where they have their home. Trees are our neighbours and have roots. The birds are free. The clouds come and go. Houses are the opposite of clouds – they stay put. Some of the clouds are trails made by aeroplanes. Trees and houses both give us shelter.

Just think thousands of years ago when trees would have covered everywhere. There would have been no view of the horizon. Trees would have been our world.

And what sort of plants would have been able to grow under the trees?

There must have been plants for the animals to eat. And I wonder how people would have known the time of day without a view of the sun and the horizon. Please Robot, tell us, how did ancient tribes who lived in forests tell the time?

Tribes living in forest environments, away from the technological advancements of ancient civilizations, developed their own methods to tell the time, deeply intertwined with the natural world. Forest-dwelling tribes could use the length and direction of shadows to estimate time during the day. Sticks or other natural objects could serve as simple sundials. Many forest tribes observed the behaviours of plants and animals, which often follow daily or seasonal cycles. For example, the opening and closing of certain flowers or the activity patterns of birds and insects could indicate specific times of day. At night, the positions of stars and the phase and position of the moon were useful for telling time. More broadly, tribes tracked seasonal changes to regulate their activities throughout the year, from hunting and gathering to rituals and migrations. Changes in weather, the environment, and the behaviour of flora and fauna all helped to mark longer time periods. Specific bird calls at dawn or dusk, could also serve as time indicators. These natural events were reliable and consistent enough to act as cues for the passage of time.

The trees have been looking after us throughout our evolution. Imagine if we could vote for trees! Please Robot, what would be in the manifesto of the trees’ political party?

Creating a manifesto for a political party run by trees presents a unique and imaginative challenge. Let’s envision what this manifesto might include, focusing on key principles and policies from a tree-centric perspective.

  • Sustainable Growth: Just as trees grow in harmony with their environment, we advocate for sustainable urban development that respects nature and promotes green spaces.
  • Environmental Stewardship: We are committed to protecting and expanding our towns’ parks, forests, and natural reserves. Our goal is to increase tree cover by 30% over the next decade.
  • Community Roots: Strong communities are like deep roots. We encourage community gardening, local farming, and the use of public spaces for local markets, fostering a close-knit community spirit.
  • Renewable Resources: Promoting the use of renewable energy sources, we aim to lead in energy efficiency and low carbon footprint living.
  • Education and Awareness: We believe in educating our citizens, especially the young, about the importance of trees and the environment.

All together now, let’s recite from the manifesto of the Sylvan Party.

“As trees, we have stood the test of time, providing shelter, air, and beauty. Now, as your elected representatives, we will make life better for all with our values of resilience, sustainability, and community”.