“Mother Oak” – Watercolour, 30x40cm
Trees have a tough upbringing. Most seeds, if they are not carried far by the wind or animals, fall in the direct vicinity of the tree and thus the saplings compete against the parent tree for light, water and nutrition.
What seems like a disadvantage at first glance has its benefits – the young trees are schooled to grow straight, towards the light that is so much more plentiful in the heights, rather than wasting energy into ineffective directions. They grow slowly and develop a thick, sturdy stem and bark that can withstand storms and parasites, rather than having growth spurts and developing into a brittle tree. They stretch their roots deep into the ground, stand steady and find water even during dry times of the year. It is only when the parent tree dies and falls that the strong children get a chance to grow to full size.
Mother Oak, in all her austerity, raises her children to live long and healthy lives.

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