Nature is the Teacher

After the opening hour of #edchatMENA “Nature vs Artificial Intelligence” on Saturday 24 March 2018 I went outside to my other “office”.

A large branch from a cedar tree had fallen during recent snow and wind.  We had cleared much of it in the past few days, but, because it was now looking a bit lopsided, we’d decided to trim the other branches.

Without realising it you think, and learn, a lot when playing with nature.  There’s the physical aspect of simply walking over fallen branches, or climbing up to get at the branches that you want to cut or carrying the saw.  Then there’s the care that you want to take to avoid getting hurt.  This is learning where failure can be terminal.  I’ve had a couple of close shaves, and have the scars to remind me, so I’m not as audacious as I used to be.

It would be wonderful if you could also hear the birds and smell the wood.  Fresh cedar has a powerful aroma.  Its sap is sticky and stays on you.  When you’re up close and personal with the tree you also notice the differences with the other fir trees nearby.  With a guide book in hand you can accelerate your understanding of the trees and their different habitat.

Here’s how it looked a couple of years ago after one of several main trunks had fallen backwards leaving a bit of a gap …  You can see a “monkey” in the fir tree to the left, which helps indicate scale.  The tree is about 30m high.

Here are some snaps taken with a toy drone before I got back to work:


Help is always welcome.  Tym is loading timber for the log shed and removing branches in the snap below.  It’s heavier work than you think and helps you appreciate manual work that people do around the world to feed us and extract timber, minerals and other of nature’s bounty for our use.

Using tools helps you appreciate their value.  That helps you become more interested in looking after them.


Being up close and personal with a tree you see it in a different way.  Have a look at the way a twig grew through the trunk in the snap below.  And the splintering of the trunk and branches helps show that cutting can be unpredictable …


Here’s a 4 minute video to give an impression of what it was like on site …

And here are some snaps to show the results.


We put in about 8 hours work that day and still have lots to do.  It is engaging work and keeps us warm.  Most people can get involved, but be safe.  Respect the tree, respect the saw, respect the machine.

Remember: This is dangerous stuff.  If you’re not trained, you’re not insured, so don’t do it …

One thought on “Nature is the Teacher

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.