Hiking Nature

Hobsons Lake Harry – Halifax Tree People

360° View: Hobsons Brook Falls

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Harry may look somewhat uncomplicated and inarticulate, but his favourite topic of discussion involves the complex and dynamic natural interactions he sees on a daily basis. Hobsons Brook falls is a Lotic (flowing water) system of interactions between biotic (living) things like plants, animals, micro-organisms and abiotic (non-living) things like rock formations, pH levels of the water, and amounts of sunlight.

Whether its watching biotic activities like one of his relatives renting out some space to a newly arrived Downy Woodpecker (nature’s quite literal Airbnb), or in the blink of an eye (it’s been said he blinks once every 10 years) seeing the brook and falls look completely different due to the abiotic nature of the fast-paced, erosion fueled change.
Something he rarely discusses is the rapidly approaching destruction and decomposition in Harry’s future. Where one organism winds down, it acts as a springboard to life for generations of others. Luckily mother nature has everything under control with her army of recycling experts known as detrivores”. Chantrelle mushrooms, Red Worms, and millipedes are constantly working together to keep order and balance as nature’s United Nations.

This extremely complex, rapidly changing yet well-ordered system of nature is on display all around Harry. Unfortunately, there are a few new things caused by humans that can throw this system out of balance. Many forms of pollution hit areas like this particularly hard. Acid rain is one nefarious, bad actor. Acid rain is winning a large battle against mother nature’s armies and unfortunately, humans are the ones tipping the scales in favour of these destructive forces. Here in Nova Scotia, we are particularly harsh offenders through our burning of coal, biomass and other fossil fuels which feed the acid rain. To learn more about the local struggles between natural habitats and our human influences look no further than the Sackville Rivers Association here in Halifax. I had a fascinating and extremely informative discussion with Walter Regan where I learned about all the complex challenges we have to solve to make sure we don’t destroy these amazing areas we are privileged with experiencing.

Harry doesn’t like to get bogged down in politics or complex problems so it’s best to keep conversations simple with him. He is a tree of few (likely zero) words. He may not value the art of conversation, but one thing he loves is the feeling of importance when a human stops to pose for a selfie with him. Feel free to feed his ego by tagging #HobsonsLakeHarry.  If you’re interested in reading up on more topics like this, check out my list of recommended books.

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