Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rain (3/29/2014)

It was a wet weekend here in eastern Virginia.  The ponds are full again, and with the rising temperatures, the frogs are out calling for mates.  When I teach my classes I always remind people that nature is about a few things.

First of course is sex, or shall we call it procreation.  That is why all those frogs and salamanders are calling.  It is why the birds sing and the plants flower.  They want to procreate and continue their species as is or maybe as they slowly evolve.

Nature it is also very parsimonious.  This is one of my favorite words, it means stingy/cheap.  Being somewhat older now, I finally understand why my two best classes in college were biology and economics, and I understand why I specialized during my Ph.D. studies in physiological ecology.  It all is a game of supply and demand; putting in as little investment as possible to get the biggest return.  Nature does not waste. 

I think here is where we humans diverge from nature, we waste a lot, and we have sex purely for pleasure (in addition to procreation).  I often wonder if this will be our eventual downfall.  While sex without procreation is fine, there are still groups of people that have more than 2 children (note that you only need two children to replace father and mother on this world when they die).  Having more than two would almost be irresponsible; but of course there are groups that only have one child or none.  Our waste is something else.  We are accumulating it everywhere; we are drowning in our waste (including greenhouse gasses).  I worked with pigs that were kept in a big run, and they did their thing in one corner and kept the rest pretty clean.  I hear that horses do the same thing.  We humans are trashing our planet; which is unsustainable.

Anyway, of my soap box, this picture was taken on a wet Saturday morning.  What struck us was how dark the bark is and how strongly the moss stood out that lives on the bark of the trees.  An amazing contrast, worth taking a picture of. 

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