Friday 23 April 2021

Just dead wood?

Earlier this week during a short walk in the forest I stopped for a moment beside a pile of logs. To be honest, I was hoping that if I sat and posed nicely I might score some treats, but that is not the subject of today's Nature Friday post. 

No, instead I have a question.

How did it ever happen that 'just dead wood' became a metaphor used to describe people or things that are no longer useful or productive?

Let's have a closer look at this pile of logs. What do we see? 

We have several different species of beautiful mosses and lichens.

We have fungus,

And ferns,
And even new saplings sprouting up, 

Not to mention a multitude of creepy crawlies which Gail failed to capture with her camera.

So it turns out that far from 'just dead wood' the whole edifice is teeming with new life. Such a productive mini-ecosystem in fact.

'Just dead wood' indeed. You would think that humans could make better use of their supposedly superior language skills...

OK, that's enough posing. As no treats are forthcoming, I'm off to find something else to pontificate about!

Happy Nature Friday! 


  1. mybe that is the sign that efurrything is in da circle of life? happy furryday to ya!!!!

  2. That's very true Bertie, but perhaps the term originally came from the fact that the tree had been cut down, so wasn't still growing in the ground? Those are very interesting photos and do prove your point.

    Inca xx

  3. Hari Om
    Actually, Bertie lad, the term comes from the process of 'pruning'; if a shrub has been left to overwinter, there will always be 'dead wood' at the tips to be trimmed back in order for the bush to flourish further...

    The bits cut away, however, definitely still can play a part - just not with the original bush (business). Your post demonstrates this magnificently!!! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  4. You are right, dead wood does harbor new life, we just never thought about it that way.

  5. Bertie once again my handsome WFT friend has broadened my thought process and for certain changed how I will furever look at fallen trees. Next time I see one on the trail I'll be sure to take a closer look.
    NOW all this out of the way.........HOW DARE there not be treats galore for you during the process of this excellent post?
    Hugs Cecilia

  6. so true, so true. I love this and never really thought about that expression. Perfect for earth week and I must say my favoirte of the life in the photos is you Handsome Bertie, love the last gallop so fast the paws are in the air. i do hope you got treats because your sit by the eco system was Pawfect

  7. Those logs are teeming with life, Bertie. You look great posing next to them too.

  8. Dead wood is not dead at all! Nature is so amazing.

  9. We love to look closer at things like "dead wood" for all the same reasons. We can always find amazing things growing in it, like mushrooms, ferns, or moss, as well as lots of creepy crawlies.

    I hope you got some treats when you got home!

  10. Your are right, dead wood is not the proper term. Dead head on the other side is appropriate.

  11. This is a very important point we had not considered. Dead wood also keeps us warm in the winter.

  12. So true and thought provoking. Thanks Bertie.

  13. So true and thought provoking. Thanks Bertie.

  14. So true and thought provoking. Thanks Bertie.

  15. We have to agree with you Bertie, Dead wood can make other things grow! Thanks for your wonderful photos! Gail did a terrific job capturing everything!

  16. What a lovely and informative post Bertie! We will look at old logs in a new way!

    Rosie and Redford

  17. I love this post, Bertie! Even the atoms making up the wood become part of new life. That's my best hope for immortality!