Today, we are lucky to have the possibility to admire, in the Sila national Park, natural realities of great interest. Despite the many modifications caused by men, we are still allowed to see wild spots, huge historical scenarios, varying in accordance to altitudes and seasons, and creating a magic feel with wonderful contrasts, a symphony of colours which everybody, visiting the National park, is able to catch.
The “vegetal patriarchs”
The “vegetal patriarchs” are trees having a deep knowledge of their own territory; they are a guarantee of biodiversity and bearers of a peculiar genetic heritage.
They are vegetal colossus, surrounded by musk, lichen, herbs, ferns, shrubs, creepers, multicoloured flowers and a mass of animals, and together they influence the wood life with chlorophyll, able to soak up the solar energy to create living matter.
They are outstanding trees, wonders of creation, shaped by wind and other natural adversities, living in balance with the environment, highlighting the perpetuity of woods, mitigating climate, valorising the landscape, preserving the soil and water reserves and improving spiritual and material life of men; for these reasons, they deserve reverence and gratitude, making wonder and admiration arise.
They have been a heritage for the forefathers, they continue to be so for the people of our times and it is convenient that they will remain as such for future generations. They are age-old trees, preserving their undoubted spectacularity, some strange-shaped, with exceptional diameters, huge heights, peculiar foliages, sometimes marked by weather bad conditions and gifted with an unrepeatable genetic code. It is possible to find venerable old age trees, tormented, twisted, deformed, but with great resistance, as well as more classical trees, with a less tortuous trunk, straight and equipped with a uniform and expanded foliage.
All of them are a representation of past figures, coming to us from ancient seasons, remainders of past thick forests, to show us the particular vitality, resistance and longevity of plants. They are venerable old age trees, leaving around them sons emulating their fathers and facing their existence during the course of ages.
We wonder if present-day trees will similarly outlive, threatened by fungi and insects, by “acid rains”, by polluted air and waters.
Each “monumental tree” tells in detail the vicissitudes of its own environment, of which it is the oldest inhabitant, the most long-lived sample and the most expert connoisseur.
Innumerable “green patriarchs” live in the National Park, from the “Sila Giants”, in Sila Grande, to “Prometeo” and “Gariglione Giants”, in Sila Piccola, and to many other old-age trees spread on crests, valleys, crags, along rivers and in the most unexpected places, stressing the nature apotheosis.