Saturday, October 17, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Forest

Sitting here in my forest, with my trees around me. Their leaves are ready to be reached and viewed and read. My trees grow tall and wide and long, forming rows of shade and shelter. Here i can hide my body and mind, buried away with the ideas shed from them. My trees can be dismembered and fixed. But of their relief to the soul is something new. They allow you to forget, to grow, to escape. How sweet it is to sometimes just forget. O, how I love my library.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


It is squished, trampled, and pressed. After six years of steady use, the frass has been diminished to a feeble trampling. As it glistens it nearly reminds you of real grass recently wet by dew. But looking closer the stark difference is shown. These little, little, blades are as thick as a piece of lead and spiral like a steep staircase to nowhere. It is nearly a mockery of the real thing. Though not especially beholding to the eye this grass has the great talent of drawing nutrients from the rubber flakes that weigh it down. Despite the looks, feel, and smell, the most depressing fact of this catastrophe is the leaves, fallen to the ground, with the hope of returning to mother nature, being denied the sweet recoupling of nature.

Human Predator

Talking of the relationship between prey and predator got me thinking. In the Disney films involving animals there is an odd and improbable relationship between the prey and predators. In Bambi such a relationship is present. I’m sure that when you first look thru Bambi you wonder “ What predator is in here apart from man and his dogs?”, but you must remember the owl. Friend Owl is a ferocious predator. Though he proves no trouble to Bambi, Thumper, and Flower he is a large threat to the mice, chipmunks and young rodents. Though a threat he is still shown to be gentle around them. The way these characters interact is solely a fixation of man to force human thoughts onto nature.
His humane interaction is false. Just because it’s false doesn’t mean he is just waiting for his chance to pounce, instead there is just no way that he can be that close to prey and not eat it. This kindness is a strong human trait, probably the trait we are most proud of. To be close to vulnerable prey and resist is a feat that only humans have conquered, but we feel that everyone else can do it.
I do acknowledge that this is a movie and the characters must interact sweetly for the plot to continue without dramatic feasting scenes, but this isn’t the only time we place our own rules and actions upon animals. There is always a naturalist talking about animals as though they were human. These people have it a bit off. There are many animals that seem to appreciate the human thought process, but they are not human, so they do not have the same laws and regulations that we do. This is clearly a huge problem for humans. By believing wild animals act like humans they are just expecting too much safety.
Thayer had a great point on this. When he talked to us about his time with the jaguars he overly stressed that these animals are wild. He talked about no matter how human they seem that cat is still wild and has no problem eating you. To solve this flaw of humanity we really should just remember how different we are from the animals.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Classification of Nature

As humans we really need to split everything up and organize it all. It seems that humans have taken it as their god given responsibility to name and categorize everything. This feeling extends from what we can see and touch to the world of emotions and concerns triggered by nature. It seems that the majority of humans split nature into the categories of pastoral and sublime. These categories are fine by me. Though I think they exist, pastoral and sublime nature do not always have to be that way. As we shift our vantage point from us to the squirrel on the log, the marlin in the sea, the hare in the dessert, or the goat on the mountain we see these definitions shift and change. That simply is an idea that must be kept in mind, we are not the only who perceive nature. And of course from our stand point some more categories than sublime and pastoral might help in our endeavor to categorize the world.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nature is SO Cool

A great video

From Snake to Man

Evolution. This word has many implications and debates floating around it, but there is no way to deny that it means change. Such change is constantly seen in nature and the actions of it’s inhabitants. I have recently found the most curious example of this change in “When the Snake Became a Man”. This poem illustrates change and evolution of thought in the strangest way. Unlike the normal poem, told from one perspective with the human or the nature changing, this poem is told from the point of view from the animals as they “mature” and evolve into humans. All in all this is an extremely original and weird way of depicting the interactions between man and nature, with an additional message.

Each of the stanzas of this poem are about a different animal and what happens when they become man. All of the actions that these animals take part in are actions of a human, though a bit over exaggerated. The first is a snake. This snake becomes man and starts to eat uncontrollably. In order to continue eating the snake uses a surgeon to create a hole in him that will empty his stomach so that he can continue eating. These actions are clearly ones belonging to humans. If you don’t know humans are renowned for never having enough of anything, be it food, money, gasoline, or company, and using any and every means to reach these items.

When the elk becomes man in the second stanza a very different reality is described. The elk grows his antlers so he used a supplement to force them to grow to a length that he needs help to hold them. In a completely humane way the elk makes a crane that will not only hold up his antlers but also take pictures and sort his socks. These two additional tasks are a comment on how humans always invent machines to do enough work that they don’t have to.

By the third stanza the author uses the growth of the whale as yet another cite of human growth. As the whale becomes man he bares in mind that he kills to eat, but writes it off as his nature and decides to replace the lives he takes with a song. Like with countries that send apologies to others that they have bombed, the whale struggles to replace the lives it takes with something as good and valuable. Alas, human flaws.

The last stanza, as usual, is the most interesting. In this stanza we get the main point of the poem. By the end everything has turned to man except for man himself. While living with dog, who is already man, the man changes. The dog of course notices this with disappointment and leaves. Before the dog leaves he comments that with man changing he will change the world around him, starting with throwing away the television. I view this growth of man as what the author hopes would happen. So far everything has been out of it’s normal position, dogs don’t care about television and elk don’t have growth supplements, not to mention they don’t have socks. The author wishes that man will wake up, truly become man, and change it all, like any of the animals would do if they could.