Three Degrees of Latitude
This book is about an ancient species of tree. It is about art and observation and the rift between seeing and knowing. It is about examining our preferred perception of evolution, our philosophy of success. It is about fear and faith and a crater lake in the remote village of Caviahue where people choose to live below an active volcano, among them a man called Poodle and a dog named Junior. It is, ultimately, about what one can learn simply by walking into an unknown forest. This forest, a spectacular forest in the Andes Mountains, is made up of trees that grow 165ft. tall and live up to 1,300 years. The pehuén, Araucaria araucana, predominates in this area of volcanic disturbance but more impressively, it is a species that has survived relatively unchanged since the Jurassic period. Our push to be an ever increasing streamlined culture of bigger, better, faster, might be the evolutionary edge it is assumed to be but perhaps we overlook what nature so prolifically shows us—there is no singular path to survival. Though this book is about a tree, it is also about the process of examining the unknown without the filter of what we think we know about the natural world.