As an ornithologist (and there are some who call me that!) I’m often guilty of viewing trees as architecture – static stages on which the more immediate lives of birds play out. As an entomologist (apparently I’m one of those as well!) trees are often no more than a bug-larder, a feeding place for thousands of hungry insects.
Such foolish notions are dispelled with the very first step into a storm-blown wood. Trees are not stationary, lifeless lumps of wood. They swagger and sway, rustle and creak, howl their protest against the gusts that would uproot them. The wood comes to life, and when I see trees for what they really are – vast, vibrant living things that stretch away to ten times my height – I’m appropriately humbled.