Artist and naturalist Michelle Louis has a vigorous curiosity about the natural world. Her abstract landscape paintings document life, well-spent, in wild places.
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Here come the trees. The energy is palpable. Sky will be interrupted, even blocked, by masses of green that will last until fall. Every time I walk outside, birds sing it, insects hum it, flowers dance it. Last weekend, our senior dog was somewhat terrorized by the near deafening trill and croaking of neighborhood frogs. I actually had to cover my ears when passing through a particularly loud spot. From mighty oak to graceful maple, something exciting is going on and everybody knows it. Sap is rising. Buds are getting ready to break. Some have already burst.
Do you know what's even more astonishing? Tree sap is not pushed up from below by root pressure as was once believed. It is pulled from above. Let me say that again-- it is pulled from above. The process is still being researched and it appears to require little to no energy input from the tree to lift sap as high as 100 meters. It's all about physics and the power of the sun. Wondrous. Can you feel it? Get out there and hug a tree.