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Why Are There Trees?

Updated on August 23, 2017

Trees Shape and condition our World

Land is comprised of different types of terrain mainly by the condition of the soil, rocks and the trees. It can be as forest (pictured), as mountainous or alpine, as desert or rolling plains.

But land without trees, such as the Nullabor (no trees) plains in Australia, is barren except for salt bushes, some native flora and fauna, as well as being dry, hot, unproductive and undesirable. Land with lots of trees is productive, cool, wet, attractive and very much alive. So if we remove the trees from this type of land what are we doing to the earth?

We cannot survive without trees and the less trees there are the less there will be in the future. This lens explains why we should stop killing off the forests. It talks about protecting the trees we have and about planting them at every opportunity. It pleads with the world to stop the murder of our future and to hopefully reverse climate change.

Rain forest
Rain forest

The Balance of Nature

How it used to be

Some say the world is 3 billion years old, others say 6 billion, but whose counting? What matters is that it took a very long time for the earth to get to the hospitable state that it is now, or was, until recently. That is fit for human habitation and long term survival.

It was once completely out of the question for warm-blooded animals to survive in the heat and conditions that prevailed during, say, the Dinosaur Age. More people can relate to that description better than to the Miocene or Pleistocene Eras. These times are geologically determined by fossils of mollusk and things which don't have much bearing on this story.

But they do in a way because mollusks are sea dwelling creatures and where they are found is in areas once covered by sea which either rose up to form mountains or the sea levels dropped leaving the land exposed. But these were also times without trees. What is found are more primitive plant life like ferns, algae and such. The climate was vastly different to that of today, or what we have experienced in our lifetime and which is now changing.

It appears that the first trees may have been a type of fern that developed into a primitive palm tree with a trunk. The first known trees evolved around 450 million years ago, well before the first vertebrates or warm blooded creatures emerged. The first trees with leaves and roots evolved some 100 million years later, so it was a slow process. All the while the conditions were also changing.

If we look at this as a great master plan with the ultimate goal of making a habitable planet for humans then think about what needed to be done to create that environment. The food we eat, the plants we depend on, the medicines we need and the houses to shelter us. The only thing from which these provisions could be derived was the earth, But the conditioning factor, at least in recent times, has been the trees

Do You Consider Trees as Valuable Assets? - Or are they just nuisance value?

I love trees and value their presence in the landscape

Big men with Their Toys - No one can stop them

Fits there were furns
Fits there were furns

Innovation or a Master Planner?

It all happened over time

Roots were an important part of tree evolution, as are seeds and the means to disperse them far and wide. Wind comes to mind for this job but the real heroes of seeds are birds, reptiles and insects. We know there were plant eating dinosaurs and early birds as well as other species that could do the job and obviously insects were around at that time to pollinate and bury the seeds in the ground.

But birds, insects and animals that dwell in and around trees also evolved with them. Reptiles took flight when jumping from tree to tree and wings developed from their arm limbs. Bird eating insects jumped around and flying was the next stage in their development. Once in flight berries and fruit ingested resulted in seeds being egested. On dropping to the ground with other waste material they sprouted into new plants or trees.

This was helped along by the deposits of manure from animals and birds that came to feed on the seeds and then on the flowers that evolved to attract them. Then earthworms evolved to condition and fertilize the land further.

Other insects played their part by ingesting the rotten material of both plants and animals and taking that down to mix with the composting soil until it reached a stage where new types of seeds development lead to new species of plants, animals and birds.It was a balancing act whereby all was in harmony.

Land once covered by sea was extremely salty and only salt tolerant plants, such as mangroves, could adapt until the rotting material built up the compost and other plants evolved and adapted. Slowly the ground built in height with soil deposits rather than sand. But the salt remains underneath the soil in most areas and if conditions change, such as through the logging of trees, the water table can rise and the salt is brought back to the surface.

This is how and why there is a major march of desert conditions across many continents, including Asia where north western regions of China are losing incredible amounts of agriculture land. Here the desert is racing toward the sea and the cost is heavy.

The millions of years all this took to happen is being wiped out in a few decades of selfish, ignorant and unnecessary land clearing and the death of forests. It is like the billionaires who are doing it and the misguided governments allowing it to happen expect that everything will return to normal in a short while. They are sadly mistaken and humanity and all life on earth is already paying the price.

Gobi Desert in China is on the Move

Do You Think We Can Stop Forest Devastation? - Or is it just too difficult

Should forests be logged, even if it preserves jobs?

You Can't Stop This Devastation - Its for the economy and progress

Orangutangs face extinction with loss of forests
Orangutangs face extinction with loss of forests

The Facts About Deforestation

Look at the cost

Trees greatly influence the environment in that they moderate the climate and shade the land. Through transpiration of gasses, that is removing CO2 from the atmosphere and releasing oxygen into the air they improve air quality. They also store water and carbon dioxide in their trunks and roots and draw water from deep underground to release it into the atmosphere and so deliver moisture which is then sucked up and falls as rain.

This happens because of a capillary action within the trunk and the expiration of moisture through the leaves. As it evaporates and enters the atmosphere more moisture is drawn in through the roots, rather like air through a ventilation shaft. It is this function that keeps the water table low and allows the soil under the tree to remain fresh and for plants and animals to live there. If the water table rises, as it has in many areas in Australia where massive tree clearing has taken place, the soil sours and salt rises to destroy it. Once this happens the land is no longer good for plant growth unless it is salt tolerant plants that move in.

One can see in this function the wonderful way the climate and plants act together to make the world habitable. But man is changing that. By massive reduction of forests, such as in the Amazon where something like the area of several football fields are cleared every 10 seconds or so, the climate of the earth and the quality of the atmosphere is being severely altered.

Trees harbor wildlife and many animals and birds, as well as insects and invertebrates, make their homes in their trunks or in the deadwood and leaves they shed. They moderate the climate by lessening the effects of sun, wind, and rain. Their evolution is almost like it is part of a master plan to prepare the earth for warm blooded animals that could not survive without them, including humans. But with the loss of habitat animals are fast becoming extinct and humans are suffering the effects as well.

The leaves of trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) which it uses, along with water and sunlight, to form chlorophyll, the substance the leaves manufacture through photosynthesis. The water is drawn up from the roots and the CO2 is taken in from the air. The water is split into hydrogen and oxygen molecules by the energy from the light. The hydrogen combines with the CO2 in the cell to form a simple sugar The oxygen (O2) is then expelled from the leaves through the same little holes underneath the leaves called stomata that the CO2 used to enter. There is a lot of complicated detail available to understand this process fully but for now that will have to do.

Trees evolved in association with the CO2 in the atmosphere and the process of photosynthesis provides food for the plant but also for many animal species that live off it. including humans. The sugar manufactured in the leaves is stored in fruit, nuts, flowers and seeds available to all. Fallen fruit is eaten by ground dwellers, such as mammals, that would otherwise not be able to reach it.

Trees also produce chemicals which humans and animals have learned to use to their benefit. Among them are the many types of medicines for healing and poisons for protection of certain tree dwellers. The Australian koala is a case in point. It has adapted to the toxins in the eucalyptus leaves which is its only food. Other animals will not climb these trees to gather the leaves or disturb the koalas which also have poor eyesight and are very slow movers.

Right now there is a fight on to try to stop logging of a section of forest housing a very rare group of these beautiful animals. Japanese interests were given the rights to log here and the trees are chipped for various uses in Japan. Australia gets little benefit from this. The stupid government thinking behind this is hard to figure.

You Can't Stop This Either - Its Economy and Progress

fFloof inundate property
fFloof inundate property

Trees Fit Together with all Forest Dwellers

remover them and the balance is destroyed

Trees prevent flooding when forests are left intact. But by clearing them and building houses in floodplains or where land slips may occur people fall victim to the environment.

Humans fail to comprehend the need to preserve the things we depend on for life. Remove the trees and you take away the lungs of the earth. Nothing else, aside from the ocean, can absorb carbon dioxide and exchange it for oxygen. Nothing else can manufacture food from it and feed everything around it. Nothing else can give the shade, the protection, the water vapor required for rain, and nothing else can live as long.

The roots of trees stabilise the land and stop soil erosion and slippage. Hillsides depend on trees to maintain their cover. Without them the earth becomes unstable and will move under the right conditions, such as heavy rain, flash floods, earth tremors, snow build up and so on. The result can be devastating as we have seen recently with the heavy loss of life as numerous villages and towns have been swallowed up by mud slides after severe logging has taken place. Such devastation mainly happens because of logging in forests but there are other causes, such as building on unstable hillsides and normal land clearing for such buildings.

Trees have been dated to well over 2,000 years. During that time they have developed huge established roots and are storing unimaginable amounts of CO2. The longer a tree lives the more prized is its timber and yet in Tasmania trees that are up to that age are being felled for wood chips. The stumps and plants ripped out along with the trees are burnt and the CO2 is poured back into the atmosphere. Its little wonder that Australia is suffering huge droughts.

The south eastern area of the continent has experienced a ten year long drought and water storage and river levels are at an all time low. This is also having a devastating impact on the environment with super fires now breaking out in the region.

A recent example happened on February 7th 2009 when such a fire saw several villages wiped out and over 400 homes burnt to the ground. Almost two hundred people (175 plus) lost their lives and millions of acres of land was devastated. The number of animals killed was enormous. In Western Australia, Perth, the Capital city, has not seen a drop of rain for six months, with none in sight. The area surrounding this city was a major agricultural area.

You Can't Stop This Any More Than The Other Examples - A Billionaire named Gunn is behind this devastation

What can we do to stop our world being destroyed? - Do You have any ideas?

Would you take up the cause to stop this?


For The Love of Trees

Why can't we think beyond our needs?

God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools. ~John Muir

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

~Joyce Kilmer, "Trees," 1914

Will urban sprawl spread so far that most people lose all touch with nature? Will the day come when the only bird a typical American child ever sees is a canary in a pet shop window? When the only wild animal he knows is a rat - glimpsed on a night drive through some city slum? When the only tree he touches is the cleverly fabricated plastic evergreen that shades his gifts on Christmas morning? ~Frank N. Ikard, North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, Houston, March 1968

Source = The Quote Garden

Still images from Dreamstime - click here

. . . Please scribe a little note here before you leave. Thanks

© 2009 norma-holt

Your Visit Is Important - Please tell us that you were here

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    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      @flinnie lm: There is some progress in this area in Australia. A couple of environmentalists just bought the pulp mill in Tasmania and closed it down. The forests are also not being logged as much. The problem is where illegal logging is going on in countries that have no control over it.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I enjoy reading this, I hope it will help in the fight to save trees.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for defending the trees and earth. Excellent lens.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      @VspaBotanicals: Your visit and comment are much appreciated. It would be great if more people thought about the trees and their effect on the environment and our health. Hugs

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      If only everyone thought like this. Great lens.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      It's very simple. When the trees are gone, we're gone.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      @LaraineRoses: Thanks Laraine, you are one in a million. Hugs

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Congratulations on winning the purple star and LotD. This lens is superb!

      Angel Blessings**

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      @gatornic15: Unfortunately the trees are falling even faster and now crooks are getting into the Andes to rob natives of their bonuses for carbon sinking and to eventually fell the forest to grow palm oil. Sham on the world for allowing it.

    • gatornic15 profile image

      gatornic15 5 years ago

      Great lens with a lot of important information. Blessed

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Well done. We will kill a lot of trees before we will stop doing stupid things to our environment and to ourselves. But the last tree will die many years later than last human.

    • profile image

      DecoratingMom411 5 years ago

      Great lens that tackles a very important issue.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is really a well deserved LOTD. The issue is also very important so your highlighting it is worthwhile.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is really a well deserved LOTD. The issue is also very important so your highlighting it is worthwhile.

    • Millionairemomma profile image

      Millionairemomma 5 years ago

      I think we should do more for trees. Trees are Life! Lovely lens.

    • Timewarp profile image

      Paul 5 years ago from Montreal

      Lots of good discussion on this lens, well done!

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 5 years ago from London

      Hi Norma...such an important topic, put so well.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      Beautiful tribute to the trees, very much appreciated!! :)

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

      Beautifully written! I love trees. They are my friends. :)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      I greatly appreciate this focus on trees and preservation of natural resources. The trees here in Colorado are dying off and it is very distressing to me. When I look at the pine and spruce forest all around me, and see the dead and dying trees, I think about how I won't want to live here when they are all gone. I find trees to be very necessary to my thriving (as well as the thriving of our planet). It's a shame that so many take trees for granted and do not appreciate their vital force as it relates to everything.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A great lens to bring some awareness. Thank you for your efforts. God bless and have a brilliant day.

    • HomesteadingChic profile image

      HomesteadingChic 6 years ago

      We need to be more careful with our natural resources. I have trees on my small property now, but I look forward to the day when I have a larger property that I can plant all kinds of trees on it including fruit and nut trees.

    • linhah lm profile image

      Linda Hahn 6 years ago from California

      Great lens! Lensrolling to my Trees Please lens.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 6 years ago from Washington KS

      There can never be enough trees to suit me. What an awesome sight it must have been centuries ago when the first European landed on our shores and saw primeval forests far as eye could see. I imagine they thought the forests could never be completely used up. And now see what we've managed to destroy in just a few hundred years.

      Excellent lens.

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 6 years ago from WNY

      Another excellent lens. The state of our planet can be downright depressing at times, but the only way to change people's actions is through education. One of my favorite quotes: "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." We need to start thinking about the kind of world we want to leave for the next generations.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      Hi there - trees are my friends. They provide shelter, food for the earth, they clean the air and when old enough become sustainable lumber or heating fuel.Lensrolled to my Earth Day crafts and lessons lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love the greenery and trees which are the best things in this lonely planet. I love the way you carry the readers to the history and origin of trees with great details in a fun way.

      Featured this beautiful lens on -


    • profile image

      Stonecutter 6 years ago

      An informative lens, I was quite surprised by the video of what was happening in Tasmania, I was not aware of this.

    • jvsper63 profile image

      jvsper63 6 years ago

      Great lens and Topic..

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Lensrolled to my 'In Praise of Trees' and 'Trees in Winter' lenses.

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      I see a Purple Star - very worthy of that.

    • Krafick profile image

      Krafick 6 years ago

      Great lens.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 7 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Returned while I still have some stardust to share. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I was here before, just back to sprinkle some angel dust. **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 7 years ago

      A great idea to raise your voice for our environment. Much more people should pay attention to it, but when looking around you can see daily that unfortunately most people don't even care.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      Thanks you for doing this

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 7 years ago

      Wonderful lens. Congratulations.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 7 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Excellent lens. I'm just getting around to visiting it now. So many great lenses - so little time! Well deserved LOTD.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      A lovely lens, Norma - I shall send it to my daughter who is a teacher - I feel the content would enrich her lessons - she teaches 7-8 year olds. Oh, and 5*. lensroll

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 7 years ago

      A well deserved LOTD! Great information. Five Stars and a lensroll to

      my Green-Consciousness lens.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 7 years ago

      Trees are obviously important for many reason. But personally, I love them so much that the even without all of the other reasons I would go to bat for them. They bring me peace and that's the only way I know to express that.

    • LadyFlashman profile image

      LadyFlashman 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I love your lenses, they hit hard, educate and engage. Brilliant, thank you for getting the word out there!

    • profile image

      Joan4 7 years ago

      This is such an important lens - I appreciate your information and your love of the trees. I cannot imagine a world without trees, for sure!

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Oh, sorry forgot to mention (in my earlier comment) that I have lensrolled to my Click to Protect Endangered Habitat lens...5*s!

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Another excellent lens and a great cause. You did a great job of providing important information on this topic and offering a good dialogue with your readers. I think we all need to do our part (no matter how small or big). I am doing my part and not focusing on how small it is - I have come across this phenomenal online activism website which helps Protect Endangered Habitat. Feel free to visit it and see how easy it really is for us to help from the comfort of out homes! CONGRATULATIONS on LOTD - well-deserved! :)

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 7 years ago

      Wonderful lens! I will definitely share this on twitter. 5*

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 7 years ago

      Wonderful lens! I will definitely share this on twitter. 5*

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Long life earth day you are here to stay. You have the right to stay and we want you to stay. Those who loves trees kindly contribute some of your strong positive vibration on this.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 7 years ago

      Congrats on Earth Day LOTD. Well deserved! I used to volunteer with a nonprofit organization called Trees for Life that plants trees in developing nations. I've seen the devastation in India where trees have been decimated and I've also seen the changes that have occurred as trees have been replanted. We need trees.

    • profile image

      rutraf 7 years ago

      That is so cool.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congrats on being our Earth Day for Charity LOTD winner...on Earth Day no less!

    • profile image

      DebMartin 7 years ago

      Thanks for the reminders. Nice Lens.

    • KiwiGayle profile image

      KiwiGayle 7 years ago

      Great lens content and designwise. I'm lucky enough to work for the Aldo Leopold Foundation in Wisconsin where we promote the land ethic and green technologies. and blessed to grow up surrounded by the native forests of New Zealand. Keep up the good work. Also you might like my Aussies in America webpage.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 7 years ago from California

      Excellent lens! Congrats on LOTD. Well deserved. Bear hugs, Frankie

    • profile image

      Vance101 7 years ago

      Brilliant! It's the first lens I've read on Squidoo ( i'm new here)... COngrats for your LOTD, it's very informative and encouraging.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

      congrats on LOTD!!! I believe God created all things for a purpose and yes we are to use trees, but not "destroy" the earth and our lives...this is what will happen with man's inability to use common sense and not have respect for our gifts on earth...trees are a cyle of life as are all things on our earth, it will be a domino affect once we destroy our trees.

    • profile image

      yudiarta 7 years ago

      I love our environment that will exist on our planet .. we must always keep our environment in order to stay beautiful, the tree is the largest source for the continuation of existing life on our planet, without trees we would be devastated earth global warming increases, the floods, and the polar ice caps melt, for that from now on we must preserve and protect our planet.

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 7 years ago

      Gorgeous lens - blessed by a squidangel on earth day!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

      Very nice work, Norma. Congratulations on your LOTD honor!

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 7 years ago

      Nice lens, I love trees, couldn't live in a place without them around me, we have wonderful large trees on our property, open space land behind the houses across from us all forest, and a state forest behind the houses on the other side of the lake we live on, and in the surrounding area. Trees are one of God's many amazing creations, we need to care for them so we can enjoy them! Congrats on LOTD:-) ~claudia

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 7 years ago

      I hate that this is happening to our planet! Blessing this lens! Happy Earth Day and congrats on LOTD!

    • greenlife17 profile image

      greenlife17 7 years ago

      now I know why it's lens of the day. Congrats,

    • profile image

      grannysage 7 years ago

      Very educational and a perfect topic for Earth Day. I loved the little animated graphics, especially the dinosaur. Congratulations on a well-deserved LOTD. Also lensrolling to my Save the Tree Spirit lens.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Wonderful, thought provoking lens. Five stars. Congrats on LOTD

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! Happy Earth Day. Blessed!

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 7 years ago from Covington, LA

      Congratulations on LOTD. We need more people to talk about the trees and their importance.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Excellent lens. Balloons and confetti in order for LotD on Earth Day.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congratulations on your LOTD! - Kathy

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 7 years ago from Concord VA

      I live in the woods and I love trees! Wonderful information. Congratulations on LotD!!

    • Davidfstillwagon profile image

      Davidfstillwagon 7 years ago

      Congratulations on being LOTD!

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 7 years ago from London

      Hallo Norma:

      'Why are there trees I never walk under but large and

      melodious thoughts descend upon me?'

      Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road

      This is a well needed lens, beautifully done. And thank you for adding one of my lenses to 'sprinkled with startdust'. Poppy

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 7 years ago

      I do believe that we humans can learn a lot from trees. Congratulations on your LOTD on Earth Day!

    • modz profile image

      modz 7 years ago

      Excellent lens, 5* Congratulations

    • stacy mcdaniel profile image

      stacy mcdaniel 7 years ago

      Congratulations on lens of the day. Happy Earth Day!

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 7 years ago

      You've created a very comprehensive lens and it's put together quite nicely. Great job!

    • Ram Ramakrishnan profile image

      Ram Ramakrishnan 7 years ago

      Wonderful lens on an important topic.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      So much great information here. Yes, lets save the trees! Of course we have to harvest some, but only when we replant forests does it work out.

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      Great info and lens topic. We do everything we can to save the trees and keep it natural and green. Thanks for sharing.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      A great lens-reminds us the value of something we can take for granted- and I love the moving graphics!