The Internet of Trees

If you are reading this, you are on the internet. We are connecting. In the short thirty years since the internet was invented, we take it for granted. 

Such an extraordinary explosion of knowledge has occurred because we can connect with the minds of other people instantaneously, no matter where they live in the world.

Our familiarity with the internet has facilitated a shift in our thinking about plants. Scientists in the twenty-first century are beginning to understand that plants, too, communicate. They do so through a network that’s been nicknamed “the wood-wide web.”

Plants communicate through their roots, connected in their turn to mycorrhizal fungi. These thread-like forms of life —hyphae—are capable of sending toxins to predators and warning their kin of predators nearby, enabling those neighbors to release poisons as well. The net of hyphae is called the mycelium. What you see above ground is the fruiting body of this fungal web in the form of toadstools, mushrooms, and truffles.

Mycelium has had a complicated relationship with humans, Some, sensing people as predators are poisonous, others don’t mind at all being sauteed with a bit of garlic and butter and finding their way to your mouth. Still, others are

Read more
Publication Week For Joyous Lies

What a week!  My second novel, Joyous Lies, launched Monday, February 15, 2021.

JoyousLiesBookBannerPerhaps it is because I am not a quick writer, taking about 18 months to write each book, I did not experience the so-called “sophomore slump” in sending this book out into the world.

Perhaps also it is because the subject matter was completely different than that of Lipstick on the Strawberry.

For Joyous Lies, I had to do a lot more research. This is what I learned.

I learned all about plants and trees and their amazing powers of perception, which we arrogant humans are just beginning to understand.

I learned about organic farming, because that’s what my hippie characters did, once they realized they actually had to earn a living on their commune.

I learned about alternate child-rearing practices because I was writing about hippies. I learned about the Vietnam War and the draft resisters because that is what my communards were.

I learned about animal activists, what they were protesting, and the lengths to which they would go.

And most fun, I learned about some of the crafts my hippie characters got into, cloth dyeing, spinning and knitting—and raising angora rabbits for

Read more