Of trees and festivals

The last of the quaking aspen leaves have fallen in the night, I notice with a pang. Their naked trunks shine pale in the morning sun where they stand, the four of them, at the edge of the marshy corner of the field. It’s like losing a shortwave radio: how now will I eavesdrop on the murmur and agitation of the larger world? Then this morning I hear that the emerald ash borer is now just two counties away, and I am stricken again.

But what a fossil I am, speaking of shortwave radios in the age of the World-Wide Web! The latest edition of the Festival of the Trees at the Brazilian Blog do Árvores Vivas (Living Trees Blog) reminds us of the possiblities for communication across human language barriers — it’s a fully bilingual edition — as well as, potentially, between humans and trees, if we pay careful enough attention. Go visit.

Also, note that the next edition of the festival one month from now will appear right here at Via Negativa. Send tree-related links to bontasaurus [at] yahoo [dot] com with “Festival of the Trees” in the subject line — see here for how to participate.

We seem to have run out of willing hosts for future editions, however, and not too many people send in links anymore, either, so perhaps this will be the last edition. No sense in beating a dead horse (or a live one, for that matter, but I digress). The trouble with blog carnivals, it seems, is that everyone wants to be linked to, but few remember to return the favor, and as the carnival ages, it loses that shiny newness essential to arousing murmurs and agitation on the Web. First people stop linking to it, and then they stop participating altogether.

But maybe I’m wrong, and we’re just in a temporary lull. If you’d like to keep the Festival of the Trees going, please consider volunteering to host, or even easier — and just as important — spreading the word in the most obvious ways possible: by linking to it, blogging about it, Twittering about it, or posting the link to the latest edition on Facebook (things I don’t always remember to do myself). Nothing lasts forever, but if in fact you’d like this unique, tree- and forest-centered blog carnival to continue, you’ll have to start showing it some love. Do it for the trees! Because I am not the Lorax, I am the old Once-ler. And like the Once-ler, I say,

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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