compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
There can be no better symbolic representation of the fact that we are
individually and collectively dependent on nature and, to that matter,
interdependent on and of every relationship which exists in nature -
than the example of growing an alder tree from seed as a bonsai
Over 95% of our body is water. To stay healthy we
have to drink good water. Our DNA is the same DNA
as the tree. The tree breathes what we exhale. When
the tree exhales we need what the tree exhales.
We have a common destiny with the tree.
Man plants the seed - the alder tree grows - absorbing carbon
from the atmosphere - storing nitrogen in its root sacs -
exhaling oxygen - on which man's survival is predated -
The catkins of some alder species have a degree of edibility, and may be rich in protein. Reported to have a bitter and unpleasant taste, they are more useful for survival purposes. The wood of certain alder species is often used to smoke various food items, especially salmon and other seafood.
Most of the pilings that form the foundation of Venice were made from alder trees.
Native Americans used red alder bark (Alnus rubra) to treat poison oak, insect bites, and skin irritations. Blackfeet Indians used an infusion made from the bark of red alder to treat lymphatic disorders and tuberculosis. Recent clinical studies have verified that red alder contains betulin and lupeol, compounds shown to be effective against a variety of tumors.
The inner bark of the alder, as well as red osier dogwood, or chokecherry, was also used by Native Americans in their smoking mixtures, known as kinnikinnick, to improve the taste of the bearberry leaf.
Alder is illustrated in the coat of arms for the Austrian town of Grossarl.
Electric guitars, most notably the Fender Jazz Bass, Fender Precision Bass, Fender Stratocaster and Fender Telecaster, have been built with alder bodies since the 1950s. Alder is appreciated for its claimed tight and even balanced tone, especially when compared to mahogany, and has been adopted by many electric guitar manufacturers.
As a hardwood, alder is used in making furniture, cabinets, and other woodworking products. For example, in the television series Northern Exposure 1992 season 3 episode "Things Become Extinct", Native American Ira Wingfeather makes duck flutes out of Alder tree branches while Ed Chigliak films.
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