Entreaties from the Green Fairy
Hello in May!
I can see a big willow oak and a maple tree form my bedroom window. Last month, when my allergies were at a peak, I noticed how the maple produced reddish/rust flowers and the oak yellowish/mustard ones. The trees were almost naked, except for a soft cloud of color from their flowers.
Willow oaks are monoecious; male and female flowers are in separate catkins on the same tree. Staminate (male) flowers are in slender yellow-green hairy catkins, pistillate (female) flowers are tiny, in few flowered clusters at the junction of leaf stems.
Now the oak tree is covered in tender, bright-green leaves. It is SO amazing to see the transformation from the winter, naked tree; to the yellowish cloud of color from the flowers; to the lush, green leaves! And I cannot help but to think of the Goal "Mighty Oaks from Tiny Acorns Grow" in EcoFluxx. To win with this goal you need to have the Seeds, and the Trees Keepers on the table.
During spring break, as an instructor at wilderness camp, we read a story called "The boy who dreamed of an acorn" by Leigh Casler, illustrated by Shonto Begay. This story too made me think of EcoFluxx. There are three boys that go on a vision quest. One boy dreams of a bear (and I thought of the Bear Keeper), and he knows his powers will be those of the bear: strength and a good fisher (and I thought of the Goal: Bears eat Fish). The second boy dreams of an eagle (Birds Keeper), and he knows he will learn many things from the eagle, like being a good hunter. The third boy dreams of an acorn (Seeds Keeper), but he has no idea what his powers will be, nor what he will learn from the acorn...
The first two boys became great fishers and hunters, respectively. But the third boy still did not know what his mission was. He had to wait for his acorn to grow and become a tree to see his gift.
As it turns out, willow oaks are prolific producers of acorns, they are an important species for wildlife food production. In addition to being a major supplier of food for game animals such as ducks, squirrels, deer, and turkey, willow oak supplies many other animals. Blue jays and red-headed woodpeckers are major consumers, while grackles, flickers, mice, and flying squirrels utilize the tree itself. "Mighty Oaks from Tiny Acorns Grow."
"The boy who had dreamed of an acorn became a man whose heart branched out wide like an oak tree, giving kindness and shelter to all who came his way." "He was never given the speed of the eagle. He was never given the strength of the bear. But when his people were troubled, it was to him that they came." And just like the wise man had told him: "To each a different gift is given, and to each a different dream does come. To one comes the eagle, to one comes the bear. To one comes the elk or the fox. The owl and the field mouse-each has its power. The hawk and the weasel-each is a teacher. Each has a gift it can share."
In EcoFluxx we see as we play, how every element has a role in the ecosystem, every species has a niche. In human society we all participate in different ways as well. How do you participate? What are your gifts? At Looney Labs we care about the environment and we participate by donating a portion of profits from EcoFluxx to help environmental groups working to care for our Earth.
Keep having a great spring!
Peace to you and yours,
P.S. Speaking of donations. Check out our Gift Recipients page for updates on the projects to which we have contributed. It is so cool to see how a snow-ball effect of environmental goodness can be generated from our donations. So keep playing/buying/gifting EcoFluxx!