Wood, forests, trees: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? George Berkeley famously asked.  And while everyone loves to mock this question, seriously: how can we know??

Our interstice on Wood reminds us of the many associations of wood: from pinecar derby (Boy Scouts, anyone?) to Hansel and Gretel, our native trees and their various ecosystems, and most importantly: the relationship between wood/trees and civilization.

Were the Taoists correct in thinking that the uncarved block of wood best hints at the nature of reality, including of being human? Are forests places for elves, fairies, mystery? Does the forest represent the hidden, the untame, the wolf in the world?

Here are some images evoked by our reading.  Can you identify any of them?

And who were Baucis and Philemon?

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9 Responses to Wood

  1. atramontano says:


    Wood is not only a natural and necessary part of life, but has also become an economic phenomenon as seen here with Wood Kingdom

  2. Mary Beth says:

    I still want a tree house when I grow up!!! The thought of living off the ground, almost like a bird in a nest

    • EKidney says:

      That’s an amazing tree house. It’s incredible what people are able to do to manipulate the elements for human benefits.

  3. jpost says:


    Here’s a link to pictures and information about the cherry blossom festival in Washington DC.

  4. tvillez says:

    According to geico, a tree does make a sound when it falls in the forest


    • wcturgeon says:

      Of course, by having the Geico team recording the entire event, it does make a sound. But then again, what if no one were there…?

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