Lessons from Nature part 1

Monday January 3, 2022

Having lost two Christmases in a row to Covid (lockdown last year and the real thing this year) I’m certain we can learn lots of lessons from Nature. Would it be better to learn from Nature without the detention?

Here, in the spirit of retention rather than detention, I’m delighted to share one of the treasures I discovered during our enforced confinement. YouTube is very good at suggesting content, so I was recommended to look at “It’s Okay To Be Smart.” This is a science channel but not as I did science at school – no, this is cool!


The rather charismatic lead presenter did a video on being inside the largest organism on earth. Can you guess what it is? I was fooled! I was wrong! I wasn’t even close! I thought about long-necked Sauropods, and then the Blue Whale, and then the Sequoia – the Californian Redwood Tree. Spoiler alert… the answer is below.

The answer is a ‘stand’ – which is like a wood or forest – of “Quaking Aspen” trees. These charming trees - that wave like Poplar leaves but look like Silver Birch - are the largest, heaviest, and oldest organisms on Earth.

The biggest we are aware of is called, “Pando,” and Pando covers an area as large as over 100 American Football Fields. Pando is over 80,000 years old!

OK, like me, you may be forgiven for thinking, “Hang on, a wood doesn’t count!” The surprising truth is that Pando is ONE tree! Quaking Aspen are highly unusual. With thousands of trucks, it looks like a wood but the truth is that it is one root system that puts up new trunks when old ones are destroyed. This means it can withstand forest fires because the new growth comes from the roots which remain safe beneath the soil. In fact, adverse surface conditions help Pando renew itself – as it has done over 80,000 years!

Metaphorically, roots have always been ‘values’ for me. As such, I wonder if there is a lesson for us in Pando’s root system? Could we use the Moodscope statements as roots?

Are we strong, feeling able to cope with difficulties?
Are we excited, looking forward to things this year – with a powerful hope for the future?
Are we active, feeling full of energy?
Are we inspired, feeling the desire to do something?
Are we interested, wanting to be involved in something?
Are we alert, being quick to notice and to act?
Are we enthusiastic, showing eagerness?
Are we attentive, paying close attention?
Are we proud, feeling a sense of achievement?
And are we utterly determined, being resolute, showing that determination in our daily lives through our words and actions?

What really excited me about Pando is that the root system shares resources across vast distances. If one part of the ‘Stand’ is dry or hungry, another part of the root network sends it water and food.

At Moodscope we are neither one organism nor do we have an exact match of values, but we do share enough in common to help one another when there’s a need. Of course, we need to know when you need help, so don’t be shy about shouting out when you need a bit of extra support.

A Moodscope member.

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