Monday, November 8, 2010

The Choice

(Click to enlarge)

I know that California has rules limiting the removal of mature oaks from vineyards and other ag fields, although I don't know the details.  I should know, and I certainly should look them up... tomorrow.

For tonight I'd like to think that the vineyard owner made a choice to keep this oak, even though it stands smack in the middle of a vineyard row.  And even though its presence and its shade reduces the yield of that part of the vineyard.  That he or she chose to keep the oak knowing full well it will be there long after the vineyard has been planted to new varieties three times, and probably after the vineyard is abandoned due to lack of water for irrigation.

Another cool thing; in the photo it looks like there are two trunks.  The one to the left is the trunk.  To the right is a grape vine that's using the oak as a trellis. 

This little vignette just got me thinking about how we all make choices - in what we eat, what we plant, the volunteer seedlings we rip up - that influence the number of oaks in this world.  They are trying to sustain us as they did for millenia, and all too often they are seen as an anachronism or quaint inconvenience. 

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