The leaf travels

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One tiny leaf caught up by the wind and deposited on my windscreen. One leaf so thin you can see the tiny holes (stomata) that allows gas to pass into the leaf so that photosynthesis can take place and water vapour can transpire away from the leaf. Each leaf attached to a twig, branch and limb of a tree perhaps? Once I saw a programme where they cut a tree in half, lifted the top of it up and slid a large bucket of water into the gap then lowered the tree into it. Rather like cut flowers in a vase. Then they watched as breezes sucked fluid out of the bucket, up through the network of phloem or xylem (I can never remember which) and out through the crown of the tree through the leaves. There were gallons of liquid moving through the tree. Then at the end of the summer the tree or plant starts to shut down. Nutrients and leaf colour are sucked back into the tree to be stored till spring. This is why some trees such as Walnuts should not be pruned until winter. They suck up so much fluid they seem to bleed sap if you cut them. Only in winter does the flow reduce enough to make it safe to cut the tree back.

But what about this tiny leaf on my screen? There then gone, washed away by a sharp shower of rain, into some gutter or drain. But it got me thinking before it disappeared, how a small thing can make a large thing work, how being part of a team can make things work.

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