The roots love to whisper to one another.
They form a global interconnecting tissue of livingness that is in constant communication with each and every life form.
They are aided in this by an utterly symbiotic relationship with fungi that magnifies both their reach and ability to share what is happening above the ground.
Here, the river has exposed them in their magnificent nakedness and with a raw lividity they snake across the stream bed, delving between and under rocks in search of the nutrients that will sustain the forest giants above me.The roots of this particular tree have also formed a bond with a bacteria and in gratitude for the food it gleans from them, they produce rich nitrogen, which in turn feeds the ecology and the tree itself.
Even the birds join in this thanksgiving for our unseen friends the roots, one has seemingly laid a feather in poetic juxtaposition at the site of their emergence from the Stygian deep.
As well as sustenance for the great forest, the roots also relay information to the spirits of the trees themselves, they warn of insect attack, disease and even the ring of the woodcutters axe.
In all directions, this information is rippling out in a gentle wave of murmuring sylvan knowledge and this biochemical conversation is as rich a lexicon as any we humans have woven in our sagas and tales.
Sitting very still and listening very carefully, it is possible to hear and to join in with this, the first world wide web of knowledge.
Photo: Alder roots at the Almodovar. Courtesy of the author.