Last Sunday I hiked through a hemlock forest to a sunny hilltop. I looked at one oak tree and saw many inhabitants. There was a hole with mysterious scat, many lichens, some fungi, and inside a crevice there was a group of beetles sheltered from the cold. They appeared to be dark fireflies. Similar to light producing fireflies but with no light producing organs, these beetles live through the Winter. A tree is more than a tree. We are all more than ourselves.

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Photo by Rebecca Arnoldi