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Kilimanjaro Treeline

Dreamed 1983/4/3 by Wayan

A girl I know just moved. Shows me her new home, high on the shoulder of a huge mountain. Tibetan slopes. No trees at all!

I'd miss them. But why won't they grow up here? Yes, we're high up--nights can freeze--but days are mild. This is the tropics! It's never THAT cold...


At the library where I work, a book arrives about Mount Kilimanjaro... and it's true. Right on the equator, but the treeline's below ours in Northern California! Not because it's too cold--too dry. A high-altitude desert. California's colder winters bring a lot of snow & rain to high altitudes, despite the dry summers; on the equator, once you're above most clouds, you're above them ALL year.

Dry heath on shoulders of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Photo from Kilimanjaro National Park site, not the book I read; my journal omits its title.
2020 NOTE

Readers of my nondream work like Planetocopia know I study climatology pretty closely; this dreamlet shows my interest began decades before I built my first model.

And it shows something else. I dreamed of high-altitude equatorial deserts the night before I was about to learn of them. Well, relearn, if you count dream learning as real, as I kinda have to these days. Now ESP skeptics can quite reasonably counter "I dreamed a jet crashed!" or "I dreamed my mom called" with "And so did a million other people; moms do call and planes do crash." But this topic's not so common. Exactly one day in my life, I learned treelines don't rise consistently from pole to equator. And my dreams teach me the same thing the night before?

You can still call it coincidence; one swallow doth not a summer make. But a consistent stream of swallows overhead implies it ain't winter. So...

I'm currently rereading my journals and transcribing those dreams I marked as suggestive of ESP at the time. Back when I started the World Dream Bank (1995-2001), I was thinking mainly of entertaining dream stories, and less of dream research; I omitted many provocative dreams because, like this, they were short and undramatic. But readers' tastes have shifted over the decades; arguing your case from a torrent of short pieces instead of a few blockbusters is more common. So I'm out to show, with postings like this, that apparent psychic dreams aren't exotic outliers; they're common. A flock of swallows, not a few lost birds.

The lesson for dreamworkers? Write the small ones! Apparent ESP is mostly undramatic. Yet a thousand such dreams (not a random number; that's how many I've had) can change your worldview, if you face their cumulative evidence.

Oh, and if you're more into the climatology aspect, try Mark Bowen's book Thin Ice, on Lonnie Thompson, who drills ice cores atop high tropical peaks (including Kilimanjaro) before their ice all melts. Science up close and dangerous!

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