Sunday, 31 July 2016


2016-31:  Lloyd Douglas:  Dr Hudson's Little Manual of Advice

Lloyd Douglas [1877-1951]
Lloyd Cassel Douglas [1877 – 1951] was an American minister and author. He was born in Columbia City, Indiana, spent part of his boyhood in Monroeville, Indiana, Wilmot, Indiana and Florence, Kentucky, where his father, Alexander Jackson Douglas, was pastor of the Hopeful Lutheran Church. Douglas was one of the most popular American authors of his time, although he did not write his first novel until he was 50.
His written works were of a moral, didactic, and distinctly religious tone. His first novel, Magnificent Obsession, published in 1929, was an immediate and sensational success. Critics held that his type of fiction was in the tradition of the great religious writings of an earlier generation, such as Ben-Hur and Quo Vadis. Douglas then wrote Forgive Us Our Trespasses; Precious Jeopardy; Green Light; White Banners; Disputed Passage; Invitation To Live; Doctor Hudson's Secret Journal; The Robe, and The Big Fisherman. The Robe sold more than 2 million copies, without any reprint edition. 

Excerpt 1 from Dr Hudson's Secret Journal:

A Little Manual of Advice to Patients in Hospitals

November 14, 1913, 8.30 p.m.

...I have often wondered if it might not be an interesting experiment, in a hospital, to hand each patient—on arrival, or as soon as he is able to read anything—a little manual of advice.

...There is a wide-open market here for some friendly talk to these unhappy guests. The little booklet might run something like this:

We are honestly sorry for people who are obliged to undergo discomfort, pain, and boredom, in this hospital. But it is not our fault, either, that you encountered the illness or accident that brought you here.

consider this place as a friendly refuge
This is not a hotel. Hotels must pay their own way or close up. Hospitals do not pay their way, but they do not close up; for, at the end of the year, the deficit is absorbed by a company of kind-hearted people who believe that we are trying to do our best. We hope you will share in this belief; for it is important to your comfort—and perhaps also to the promptness of your recovery—if you consider this place as a friendly refuge; not a mere money- making repair-shop.

our nurses are well trained
Our nurses are well-trained. Part of this training is in the control of their personal feelings. If they do not seem very much upset over your gas- pains, that does not mean they are indifferent: it means only that they are disciplined. They have many distasteful tasks to perform, and they do them without showing how they feel on the subject; but that does not mean they are insensitive. They are just as human as anyone else; have their own little frets and forebodings; their days of disappointment and depression. Sometimes a patient's cheerfulness will help a nurse to a fresh grip on herself.

your doctor wants you to get well
Your doctor wants you to get well as rapidly as possible. In this matter, you and he share the same wish. He will appreciate your full co-operation. Some morning when you are feeling unusually well, you may offer him a little witticism, and be dismayed to note that he fails to respond to it. But that isn't because he is indifferent. More likely it is because he has just put in an hour and a half of tense and trying service in the operating-room; and he doesn't feel jocular. If he can sense your sympathetic understanding of his mood, your attitude will be of much benefit to him.

believe in the skill and sincerity of the doctors
In short—if you want to get the largest degree of satisfaction out of your experience in this hospital, join hands with us, almost as if you were a member of the organization. If you believe in the hospital, and in the skill and sincerity of the doctors and nurses, you will not be troubled by the little vexations and irritations which menace the peace of many patients.
Perhaps we, who are devoting our energies to the care of the sick and injured, should be contented if we were able to dismiss you fully restored and sound as you were before. But we have an ambition still higher than that. It would gratify us immensely if—when you leave us to resume your activities—you might go out not only repaired physically but reinvigorated in mind and heart.
learn in the be a good soldier
In the normal ways of an uneventful life, people do not often have a chance to find out how much pain they can endure, or how long they can wait. Here they can take their own measure, and discover their strengths. Many a man, in peace- time, has wondered how stalwart he might be on a battle-field, facing danger, risking agonies. Circumstances may provide him a chance to learn, in the hospital, whether he has what it takes to be a good soldier. 

you can do yourself a good turn
We do not conduct these examinations. The patient examines himself, and marks his own grade. Ever afterward he will be pleased and proud if he passes with credit. No matter what may happen to him, in the future, he will always know exactly how much disappointment, anxiety, inconvenience, and pain he can stand. It's worth something to a man to find that out. So—if you have been informed that the doctor is taking out your stitches to-morrow, you can do yourself a good turn—that will last you all your life—if you face up to this in the morning without flinching. 

You have always wondered, when you saw others in trouble, whether you could take it. Now you know. It's a very gratifying thing: almost everybody finds out that he is braver than he thought he was. It's worth going through a lot of perplexity and pain—just to be assured on that matter.

enforced leisure of a convalescence
Sometimes people who hadn't succeeded in making anything very important of themselves—either inside or outside of themselves—have discovered, during the enforced leisure of a convalescence, certain neglected gifts which they have thereafter exercised to their immeasurable satisfaction.
In many instances, this self-discovery has resulted in such a marked expansion of interest and success in after-life, that the beneficiary has wondered whether Destiny had not shunted him off his course in order to let him take stock of his resources.

we think about it a great deal
We suggest, therefore, that you give a little thought to this subject while you are with us. 

Was it an accident? Was it a misfortune? Was it a mishap that brought you here? Think this over. We think about it a great deal.


Sunday, 24 July 2016


2016-30  Homeopathy: Bryonia

Bryonia is one of the priceless polychrests of Homeopathy, especially useful in acute diseases. Hence Bryonia finds its way into every handbook of Homeopathy and into every domestic medicine chest.

The great characteristic of this drug is worse from motion, better from rest, and better from pressure. The next is dryness. Dryness of linings and joints, dryness of lips, of tongue, of intestines, causing constipation with dry, hard and dark stools.

In Bryonia we have a patient who is emotionally, bodily and mentally dried up. He wants to be left alone, undisturbed, while at the same time constantly needing great quantities of water to balance his dryness. There is an element of dehydration at all levels. The sensation of dryness of the mucous membranes is most frequently reported, but the dryness of Bryonia extends to the emotional and mental levels as well. The mind is dry; lacks nimbleness and agility, it is unimaginative.

Constitutional Bryonia patients suffer from a stiffness of the mind; they tend to be very business-like and matter-of-fact. Underlying their rather gruff, businesslike manner, however, a sense of financial insecurity dwells, and the primary expression of this insecurity in Bryonia patients is a fear of poverty. And also fear about the future. Business concerns occupy their subconscious mind; as a consequence, they often will talk about business while in a delirium.

Bryonia complaints start slowly and develop steadily in a crescendo over a much longer period of time than most other remedies. Acute conditions take several days to reach their full-blown manifestation, whereas in other remedies [Aconite or Belladonna] we see a much more immediate and explosive reaction of the organism. Bryonia presents a slow but steady development of complaints, which persists until a very serious level is reached.
A further important key-note of Bryonia is an amelioration from pressure. Many forms of pain and discomfort are ameliorated by holding and pressing upon the affected part. Lying on the painful side (in headaches, chest pain, etc.) frequently provides respite from the pain. 

Bryonia is full of anxiety and despondency. The patient is not easily pleased with others, and often does not know himself what he really wants. There is an internal restlessness that forces him to move about, in spite of being aggravated by motion. There is anxiety and fear, including fear of death and fear that he will not recover from his illness. But his mind which is logical and practical does not allow the fears to overwhelm him. He may allow his temper, his anger, or his irritability to reach violent expressions, but he will not allow the fears to cloud his mind completely.

Kent writes: 'The mental state of Bryonia is usually relieved from cool air, he wants the windows open. Anxiety, confusion of mind, fear, etc., are ameliorated from being cool. In children this will be noticed, whereas if the window be thrown up to relieve the stuffiness of the room the child will sleep quietly. 

Bryonia's well-known time of aggravation is 9 p.m. through 3 a.m. and on waking.
When delirious, Bryonia patients will, in addition to talking of business, often express the wish to go home. The origin of this delirious request is the feeling of security they enjoy when they are in their own place. This trait is very strong.

Homeo Medicine Bryonia 30C

Useful for:Key Symptoms:
ARTHRITISAches in joints and muscles that feel worse with any kind of motion.
Swollen joints. Painful stiffness. Joints are hot and red.
Pains include sticking and stitching pains.
MOODWants to be left alone.
Feels better without moving, in quiet dark room. Is more irritable and less sociable than usual.
COLDSWatery nasal discharge with stuffy nose
Head colds travel down into chest
COUGHSHard, dry, racking, painful cough Presses hand to chest
Makes stomach sore
FEMALEMenses are increased; bright red, early, heavy flow.
Backache, bearing down sensation.
Vagina is dry,hot.
FLUStitching and sticking pains. Aching stiffness

Lightheaded and dizzy when standing up.
FEVERAlternating with chills.
Very thirsty for cold water or drinks
Great dryness of all mucus membranes.
HEADACHESplitting, bursting pain
Pain on stooping, on coughing, on opening eyes in the morning
Pain gradually increasing toward evening
DIGESTIONStomach extremely sensitive to touch
Feels heavy like a brick in stomach right after eating.
Vomits bile or food
Unnatural appetite or total lack appetite
CONSTIPATIONStools large, dry, hard. Constipation without any urge.
DIARRHEADuring hot weather; From cold drinks when overheated
SORE THROATPainful when swallowing with periodic coughing

Homeopathic MM by Dr William Boericke: Bryonia [Click Here]

Tips on using the homeopathic remedy Bryonia: [Click Here]

YouTube Video: Dr Misha Norland talks on Bryonia: [Click Here]

Sunday, 17 July 2016


2016-29  Homeopathy: Belladonna

Belladonna [Deadly Nightshade]
Belladonna is a polychrest -- medicine of many uses. It has its place in every homeopathic medicine chest for its paramount utility in very many acute and violent conditions.

Violence runs through Belladonna; violence and suddennessviolent pain, violent headache, violent deliruim, violent starts and twitchings, violent convulsions, which come suddenly and go suddenly.

Belladonna is a remedy for sudden, violent conditions, like Aconite, yet very unlike Aconite in its symptoms. Aconite is turmoil in circulationBelladonna is turmoil in brain and Chammomilla is turmoil in temper.

Homeopathic Medicine Belladonna 30c
Belladonna has aborted whitlows in the early stages; an appendicitis, and countless cases of pneumonia. 

In sunstroke and in violent congestive headaches, Belladonna and Glonoine run almost neck to neck. The difference is Glonoine is markedly aggravated by heat, whereas Belladonna is very sensitive to cold. Belladonna has complaints from getting the head wet -- even from cutting the hair.

Belladonna is hypersensitive to LIGHT -- with its hugely dilated pupils -- to noise, to motion, to PRESSURE, to JAR, to cold

Dr. Kent gives a beautiful picture of a Belladonna patient: The Belladonna throat burns like coals of fire. The skin burns like fire to the patient; is intensely hot to the doctor. With the Belladonna heat, there is Redness; bright redness. Pains come suddenly and go suddenly.

Belladonna, Stramonium and Hyoscyamus are all high-grade delirium drugs, Belladonna being the most violent. Belladonna and Stramonium have both redness of face, but Stramonium lacks the intense, burning heat. Hyoscyamus is pale and sunken. Belladonna cannot bear light; Stramonium is terrified of the dark and must have light.  Hyoscyamus in delirium has no decency; wants to uncover.


Useful for:Key Symptoms:
CHILDRENUseful for colds and flu, sore throats, headaches and rapid high fever.
A great children’s first aid remedy.
COLICSevere cramping pain
EARACHEEspecially right ear
EYESEyes are dry, burning.
Eyes look brilliant, staring, glassy.
Pupils dilated. Throbbing pain in eyes.
Eyes are sensitive to light.
FEVERExtreme high fever that comes on suddenly, then breaks just as suddenly.
Skin is dry, burning hot; feels hot to the touch. Feet are icy cold. No thirst with fever.
Red face
Hot, dry skin
Cold hands and feet
Restless, thrashing about, twitching in sleep
Sleepy, but cannot sleep
Hard, pounding pulse
HEADACHECongestion with throbbing pain
lying down
Pupils dilated
MENTALDelirium, restless, acuteness of all senses.
Muscles twitch, may cry out in sleep from nightmares.
NOSENose feels dry, hot.
THROATThroat is dry, red, sore.
Worse right side.
Tonsils are swollen.
Throat feels constricted, like it has a lump in it.
Swallowing is difficult, especially liquids.
TOOTHACHEThrobbing, especially right-sided
SKINSkin is dry, hot, swollen.
Useful is cases of measles, mumps and chicken pox.
SORE THROATBright, red color
Strawberry tongue, red on edges
STOMACHStomach: No appetite. Very thirsty, but dreads drinking.
Stomach is swollen, distended, hot, tender.

Sunday, 10 July 2016


2016-28  Noble Nature: "The Beaver and His Works" by Enos A Mills

Enos A Mills [1870-1922] and John Muir [1838-1914] 

John Muir [1838-1914] of the Mountains

Enos Mills with Camera
Enos A Mills [1870-1922]

Mills met Muir when Mills was a youth and Muir was already an elder statesman. 

Calling himself "the John Muir of the Rockies," Mills said, "I owe everything to Muir. If it hadn't been for him I would have been a mere gypsy." 

He dedicated his book Wild Life on the Rockies [1909] to John Muir where he wrote: "The peculiar charm and fascination that trees exert over many people I had always felt from childhood, but it was John Muir, who first showed me how and where to learn their language." 

In his book, Your National Parks [1917], Mills included a chapter about John Muir, in which he wrote, "He had the poetic appreciation of Nature. He was the greatest genius that ever with words interpreted the outdoors. No one has ever written of Nature's realm with greater enthusiasm or charm.... He has written the great drama of the outdoors. On Nature's scenic stage he gave the wild life local habitation and character and did with the wild folk what Shakespeare did with man. 

His prose poems illuminate the forest, the storm, and all the fields of life. He sings of sun-tipped peaks and gloomy canyons, flowery fields and wooded wilds. He has immortalized the Big Trees. His memory is destined to be ever associated with the silent places, with the bird-songs, with wild flowers, with the great glaciers, with snowy peaks, with dark forests, with sunlight and shadow, with the splendid National Parks, and with every song that Nature sings in the wild gardens of the world.

"The Beaver and his Works" by Enos A Mills
                            [From Chapter 3 of "Wild Life on the Rockies" by Mills

Beaver - useful, thrifty, busy, skillful and picturesque
I [Enos A Mills] have never been able to decide which I love best, birds or trees, but as these are really comrades it does not matter, for they can take first place together. But when it comes to second place in my affection for wild things, this, I am sure, is filled by the beaver. The beaver has so many interesting ways, and is altogether so useful, so thrifty, so busy, so skillful, and so picturesque, that I believe his life and his deeds deserve a larger place in literature and a better place in our hearts. 
Beavers' Engineering Works - Governing the Rivers and Fixing the Soil
His [Beaver's] engineering works are of great value to man. They not only help to distribute the waters and beneficially control the flow of the streams, but also catch and save from loss enormous quantities of the earth's best plant-food. In helping to do these two things,—governing the rivers and fixing the soil,—he plays an important part, and if he and the forest had their way with the water-supply, floods would be prevented, streams would never run dry, and a comparatively even flow of water would be maintained in the rivers every day of the year.
A number of beavers establishing a colony made one of the most interesting exhibitions of constructive work that I have ever watched. The work went on for several weeks, and I spent hours and days in observing operations. 
Beaver cutting a tree
While cutting, the beaver sat upright and clasped the willow with fore paws or put his hands against the tree, usually tilting his head to one side. The average diameter of the trees cut was about four inches, and a tree of this size was cut down quickly and without a pause.
When the tree was almost cut off, the cutter usually thumped with his tail, at which signal all other cutters near by scampered away. But this warning signal was not always given, and in one instance an unwarned cutter had a narrow escape from a tree falling perilously close to him.
Once a large tree is on the ground, the limbs are trimmed off and the trunk is cut into sections sufficiently small to be dragged, rolled, or pushed to the water, where transportation is easy.
As workers, young beavers appear at their best and liveliest when taking a limb from the hillside to the house in the pond. A young beaver will catch a limb by one end in his teeth, and, throwing it over his shoulder in the attitude of a puppy racing with a rope or a rag, make off to the pond. Once in the water, he throws up his head and swims to the house or the dam with the limb held trailing out over his back.
Drawing of a typical Beaver House
The typical beaver-house seen in the Rockies at the present time stands in the upper edge of the pond which the beaver-dam has made, near where the brook enters it. Its foundation is about eight feet across, and it stands from five to ten feet in height, a rude cone in form. Most houses are made of sticks and mud, and are apparently put up with little thought for the living-room, which is later dug or gnawed from the interior. 
The entrance to the house is below water-level, and commonly on the bottom of the lake. Late each autumn, the house is plastered on the outside with mud, and I am inclined to believe that this plaster is not so much to increase the warmth of the house as to give it, when the mud is frozen, a strong protective armor, an armor which will prevent the winter enemies of the beaver from breaking into the house.
Each autumn beavers pile up near by the house, a large brush-heap of green trunks and limbs, mostly of aspen, willow, cottonwood, or alder. This is their granary, and during the winter they feed upon the green bark, supplementing this with the roots of water-plants, which they drag from the bottom of the pond.
Along in May five baby beavers appear, and a little later these explore the pond and race, wrestle, and splash water in it as merrily as boys. Occasionally they sun themselves on a fallen log, or play together there, trying to push one another off into the water. Often they play in the canals that lead between ponds or from them, or on the "slides." Toward the close of summer, they have their lessons in cutting and dam-building.
As soon as the beaver's brush dam is completed, it begins to accumulate trash and mud. In a little while, usually, it is covered with a mass of soil, shrubs of willow begin to grow upon it, and after a few years it is a strong, earthy, willow-covered dam. The dams vary in length from a few feet to several hundred feet. I measured one on the South Platte River that was eleven hundred feet long.

Highway for the Folk of the Wild
The influence of a beaver-dam is astounding. As soon as completed, it becomes a highway for the folk of the wild. It is used day and night. Mice and porcupines, bears and rabbits, lions and wolves, make a bridge of it. From it, in the evening, the graceful deer cast their reflections in the quiet pond. Over it dash pursuer and pursued; and on it take place battles and courtships. It is often torn by hoof and claw of animals locked in death-struggles, and often, very often, it is stained with blood. Many a drama, picturesque, fierce, and wild, is staged upon a beaver-dam.
An interesting and valuable book could be written concerning the earth as modified and benefited by beaver action, and I have long thought that the beaver deserved at least a chapter in Marsh's masterly book, "The Earth as modified by Human Action." To "work like a beaver" is an almost universal expression for energetic persistence, but who realizes that the beaver has accomplished anything? Almost unread of and unknown are his monumental works.
Only a few beavers remain, and though much of their work will endure to serve mankind, in many places their old work is gone or is going to ruin for the want of attention. We are paying dearly for the thoughtless and almost complete destruction of this animal. A live beaver is far more valuable to us than a dead one. Soil is eroding away, river-channels are filling, and most of the streams in the United States fluctuate between flood and low water. 

We need to cooperate with the Beaver
A beaver colony at the source of every stream would moderate these extremes and add to the picturesqueness and beauty of many scenes that are now growing ugly with erosion. We need to coƶperate with the beaver. He would assist the work of reclamation, and be of great service in maintaining the deep-waterways. I trust he will be assisted in colonizing our National Forests, and allowed to cut timber there without a permit.

The beaver is the Abou-ben-Adhem of the wild. May his tribe increase.

For a Biographical Portrait of Enos A Mills: [Click Here]

Enos A. Mills [1870-1922]

Sunday, 3 July 2016


2016-27  Noble Nature: "The Story of a 1000-year Pine" by Enos A Mills

Enos Abijah Mills [1870-1922] was an American naturalist and homesteader. He was
Enos A Mills [1870-1922]
main figure behind the creation of Rocky Mountain National ParkMills was born in Pleasanton, Kansas, but moved to Colorado at the age of 14. He built his homestead near Longs Peak, Colorado at the age of 15. At 15, he made his first ascent of the 14,255-foot Longs Peak. Over the course of his life, he made more than 300 trips by himself and as a guide.       In 1889, Mills met the famed naturalist John Muir and from then on, dedicated his life to conservation activism, lecturing, and writing. He trained many nature guides at his homestead, who in turn, guided many more up Longs Peak neighborhood. Mills also led the fight successfully to preserve the area around Longs Peak as a national park. Congress established Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915 and Mills was called the "Father of the Rocky Mountain National Park".

Mills: "Father of Rocky Mountain National Park"[1915]

Book: "The Story of A Thousand-Year Pine" [1914]

The peculiar charm and fascination that trees exert over many people I had always felt from childhood, but it was that great nature-lover, John Muir, who first showed me how and where to learn their language. 
Few trees, however, ever held for me such an attraction as did a gigantic and venerable yellow pine which I discovered one autumn day several years ago while exploring the southern Rockies...
Sunset in Old Pine land
As I came upon it one evening just as the sun was setting over that mysterious tableland, its character and heroic proportions made an impression upon me that I shall never forget, and which familiar acquaintance only served to deepen while it yet lived... 
Many a time I returned to build my camp-fire by it and have a day or a night in its solitary and noble company. I learned afterwards that it had been given the name "Old Pine," and it certainly had an impressiveness quite compatible with the age and dignity which go with a thousand years of life.
When, one day, the sawmill-man at Mancos wrote, "Come, we are about to log your old pine," I started at once, regretting that a thing which seemed to me so human, as well as so noble, must be killed.
A grand and impressive tree he was. Never have I seen so much individuality, so much character, in a tree. Although lightning had given him a bald crown, he was still a healthy giant, and was waving evergreen banners more than one hundred and fifteen feet above the earth. His massive trunk, eight feet in diameter on a level with my breast, was covered with a thick, rough, golden-brown bark which was broken into irregular plates. Several of his arms were bent and broken. Altogether, he presented a timeworn but heroic appearance.

Baby Tree - Tiny Shadow
It is almost a marvel that trees should live to become the oldest of living things. Fastened in one place, their struggle is incessant and severe. From the moment a baby tree is born—from the instant it casts its tiny shadow upon the ground—until death, it is in danger from insects and animals. It cannot move to avoid danger. It cannot run away to escape enemies. Fixed in one spot, almost helpless, it must endure flood and drought, fire and storm, insects and earthquakes, or die.
Trees, like people, struggle for existence, and an aged tree, like an aged person, has not only a striking appearance, but an interesting biography. I have read the autobiographies of many century-old trees, and have found their life-stories strange and impressive. The yearly growth, or annual ring of wood with which trees envelop themselves, is embossed with so many of their experiences that this annual ring of growth literally forms an autobiographic diary of the tree's life. I wanted to read Old Pine's autobiography. 

A veteran pine that had stood on the southern Rockies and struggled and
 Veteran Pine
triumphed through the changing seasons of hundreds of years must contain a rare life-story. From his stand between the Mesa and the pine-plumed mountain, he had seen the panorama of the seasons and many a strange pageant; he had beheld what scenes of animal and human strife, what storms and convulsions of nature! Many a wondrous secret he had locked within his tree soul. 
Nature matures a million conifer seeds for each one she chooses for growth, so we can only speculate as to the selection of the seed from which sprung this storied pine. It may be that the cone in which it matured was crushed into the earth by the hoof of a passing deer. It may have been hidden by a jay; or, as is more likely, it may have grown from one of the uneaten cones which a Douglas squirrel had buried for winter food. 
Douglas Squirrel 
Douglas squirrels are the principal nurserymen for all the Western pineries. Each autumn they harvest a heavy percentage of the cone crop and bury it for winter. The seeds in the uneaten cones germinate, and each year countless thousands of conifers grow from the seeds planted by these squirrels. 
It may be that the seed from which Old Pine burst had been planted by an ancient ancestor of the protesting Douglas who was in possession, or this seed may have been in a cone which simply bounded or blew into a hole, where the seed found sufficient mould and moisture to give it a start in life.

Death-blows to Old Pine
...Two loggers swung their axes. At the first blow a Douglas squirrel came out of a hole at the base of a dead limb near the top of the tree and made an aggressive claim of ownership, setting up a vociferous protest against the cutting. As his voice was unheeded, he came scolding down the tree, jumped off one of the lower limbs, and took refuge in a young pine that stood near by. From time to time he came out on the top of the limb nearest to us, and, with a wry face, fierce whiskers, and violent gestures, directed a torrent of abuse at the axemen who were delivering death-blows to Old Pine.
I carefully examined the base of his stump, and in it I found 1047 rings of growth! He had lived through a thousand and forty-seven memorable years. As he was cut down in 1903, his birth probably occurred in 856.
Annual Rings of Growth of a Tree
In looking over the rings of growth, I found that a few of them were much thicker than the others; and these thick rings, or coats of wood, tell of favorable seasons. There were also a few extremely thin rings of growth. In places two and even three of these were together. These were the result of unfavorable seasons,—of drought or cold. The rings of trees also show healed wounds, and tell of burns, bites, and bruises, of torn bark and broken arms. 
Old Pine not only received injuries in his early years, but from time to time throughout his life. The somewhat kinked condition of several of the rings of growth, beginning with the twentieth, shows that at the age of twenty he sustained an injury which resulted in a severe curvature of the spine, and that for some years he was somewhat stooped. However, after a few years he straightened up with youthful vitality and seemed to outgrow and forget the experience.
A century of tranquil life followed, and during these years the rapid growth tells of good seasons as well as good soil. This rapid growth also shows that there could not have been any crowding neighbors to share the sun and the soil. The tree had grown evenly in all quarters, and the pith of the tree was in the centre. But had one tree grown close, on that quarter the old pine would have grown slower than the others and would have been thinner, and the pith would thus have been away from the tree's centre.
When the old pine was just completing his one hundred and thirty-fifth ring of growth, he met with an accident which I can account for only by assuming that a large tree that grew several yards away blew over, and in falling, stabbed him in the side with two dead limbs. His bark was broken and torn, but this healed in due time. 
A year or two later some ants and borers began excavating their deadly winding ways in the old pine. They probably started to work in one of the places injured by the falling tree. They must have had some advantage, or else something must have happened to the nuthatches and chickadees that year, for, despite the vigilance of these birds, both the borers and the ants succeeded in establishing colonies that threatened injury and possibly death.
Chief Surgeon of Pineries - Texas Woodpecker
Fortunately relief came. One day the chief surgeon of all the Southwestern pineries came along. This surgeon was the Texas woodpecker. He probably did not long explore the ridges and little furrows of the bark before he discovered the wound or heard these hidden insects working. After a brief examination, holding his ear to the bark for a moment to get the location of the tree's deadly foe beneath, he was ready to act. He made two successful operations. 
These not only required him to cut deeply into the old pine and take out the borers, but he may also have had to come back from time to time to dress the wounds by devouring the ant-colonies which may have persisted in taking possession of them. The wounds finally healed, and only the splitting of the affected parts revealed these records, all filled with pitch and preserved for nearly nine hundred years.
The oldest, largest portion of a tree is the short section immediately above the ground, and, as this lower section is the most exposed to accidents or to injuries from enemies, it generally bears evidence of having suffered the most. Within its scroll are usually found the most extensive and interesting autobiographical impressions.
It is doubtful if there is any portion of the earth upon which there are so many deadly struggles as upon the earth around the trunk of a tree. Upon this small arena there are battles fierce and wild; here nature is "red in tooth and claw." When a tree is small and tender, countless insects come to feed upon it. Birds come to it to devour these insects. Around the tree are daily almost merciless fights for existence. 
Mice Rats and Rabbits
These death-struggles occur not only in the daytime, but in the night. Mice, rats, and rabbits destroy millions of young trees. These bold animals often flay baby trees in the daylight, and while at their deadly feast many a time have they been surprised by hawks, and then they are at a banquet where they themselves are eaten. The owl, the faithful nightwatchman of trees, often swoops down at night, and as a result some little tree is splashed with the blood of the very animal that came to feed upon it.
The lower section of Old Pine's trunk contained records which I found interesting. One of these in particular aroused my imagination. I was sawing off a section of this lower portion when the saw, with a buzz-z-z-z, suddenly jumped. The object struck was harder than the saw. I wondered what it could be, and, cutting the wood carefully away, laid bare a flint arrowhead. Close to this one I found another, and then with care I counted the rings of growth to find out the year that these had wounded Old Pine. The outer ring which these arrowheads had pierced was the six hundred and thirtieth, so that the year of this occurrence was 1486.
The year that Columbus discovered America, Old Pine was a handsome giant with a round head held more than one hundred feet above the earth. He was six hundred and thirty-six years old, and with the coming of the Spanish adventurers his lower trunk was given new events to record. The year 1540 was a particularly memorable one for him. This year brought the first horses and bearded men into the drama which was played around him. This year, for the first time, he felt the edge of steel and the tortures of fire. 
From time to time in the old pine's record, I came across what seemed to be indications of an earthquake shock. During 1859 some one made an axe-mark on the old pine that may have been intended for a trail-blaze, and during the same year another fire badly burned and scarred his ankle. I wonder if some prospectors came this way in 1859 and made camp by him.
Another record of man's visits to the tree was made in the summer of 1881, when I think a hunting or outing party may have camped near here and amused themselves by shooting at a mark on Old Pine's ankle. Several modern rifle-bullets were found embedded in the wood around or just beneath a blaze which was made on the tree the same year in which the bullets had entered it. As both these marks were made during the year 1881, it is at least possible that this year the old pine was used as the background for a target during a shooting contest.
Douglas Squirrel with a Pine Cone
While I was working over the old pine, a Douglas squirrel who lived near by used every day to stop in his busy harvesting of pine-cones to look on and scold me. As I watched him placing his cones in a hole in the ground under the pine-needles, I often wondered if one of his buried cones would remain there uneaten to germinate and expand ever green into the air, and become a noble giant to live as long and as useful as "Old Pine". 

 Wild Life on the Rockies: Enos A Mills: [Click Here]

"The Story of a 1000-year Pine" forms the Second Chapter of the book "Wild Life on the Rockies"