Friday, February 21, 2014

Review on "Seasonal Forests" from Planet Earth series

Watching wild life and nature documentaries is a tiresome task. That’s what we think before we watch the “Seasonal Forests” from the “Planet Earth” series, but when we keep watching it, it become unexpectedly fascinating.  The lives of unnoticed trees in the different parts of the world, unseen wild creatures in different places in different seasons and the commentator’s style and tone of presenting were the some of reasons that we found the video was unexpectedly interesting.

This video showed us about many unnoticed trees and forests worldwide in different seasons.Taiga forests which include conifer trees grow in various manners under different weather conditions. Conifers living in Arctic, which is considered as the first place on earth that trees can grow, take at least 50 years to mature because its growing period lasts only 1 month per year due to the lack of sunlight. Their leaves are like needles in order to keep water stability. Moreover, a few varieties of animals eat conifer needles as their food. Thus, trees can save their amount of water conserved. We were amazed to see how those trees survive even in the harsh winter and to see the techniques they use to continue their lives.

Further, according to the video, conifer trees can be seen in Pacific coast of North America, the land of hemlock, Douglas fir, and giant redwood. Unlike in Arctic, these trees grow half of the year due to the sunlight. Moreover, their needles are able to extract moisture from fog. As a result, these trees grow even more times larger and quicker than conifers in Arctic. In addition, they survive over thousands of years. One grove of redwoods in California contains three tallest trees on earth which we even can’t imagine their sizes. One of them is said that their height is compared to 30 storied building which is 100 meters high. Moreover, giant sequoia that is also known as general Sherman is the largest living being on earth according to the documentary. It has a weight of ten blue whales. Bristle cone pine is considered as the oldest organism on the planet.  It was there when the Egyptians built pyramids and they were said to be already 3000 years when Jesus Christ was born. We were so delighted to have knowledge about these magnificent trees.

Taiga forests in North have similarities and differences to the Taigas in South. On one hand North and South Taiga forests can be considered as the mirror image of the other.  Araucaria trees or monkey puzzles have water proof scales instead of needles and cones look little differentthough their principal remains the same. However, these forests are not rich in animals like in North other than miniature creatures. It is a miraculous phenomenon to have these kinds of characteristics to trees although they live thousands of miles away to each other. We think that they have used to in the same region thousands years ago.

During spring in North, forests of Homme cover the area with a fresh green color with widen leaves. Instead of needle leaves, these leaves are broadening with entirely different characteristics to absorb more light and they are thin, soft and edible. During the same season, the broad leaved forests in Eastern Europe and in Asiatic Russia have the same characteristics.