The DR Canal State Park crews have done their annual mowing of the wildflower meadows between the lake and the canal. The mowing does a pretty good job of imitating low-level natural fires that might once have swept through, clearing the previous year's growth and leaving the oaks with their thick bark undamaged.
post, would serve ecologically as fuel to carry a fire across a field, to give the flames something to lean into and keep going. Other native prairie grasses, like big and little bluestems and the more common Indian grass, have similar adaptations. But if no fire, or mowing crew, sweeps through over the winter, the dead stems work to the plant's disadvantage by shading the new year's growth.
For leaning as play, leaning as life, read Robert Frost's poem "Birches", about swinging the white birches of more northern forests.