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Nature’s Relationships : Fire Is A Connecting Force

Nature’s Relationships : Fire Is A Connecting Force

  Fire, to we humans, is a paradox. It is both friend and foe. We need it, yet it can destroy us. In Nature, fire is a positive force. Fire is an important part of forest and grassland ecology. It is a force in Nature that provides new and restored connections. Paradoxically, the destructive nature of fire is its great strength. Fire is a transformational force that Nature requires in order to bring health to ecosystems. This lesson was...

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Nature’s Relationships : What Is Life ?

Nature’s Relationships : What Is Life ?

If we could surrender to Earth’s intelligence, we would rise up rooted—like trees.” ~ Rainier Maria Rilke   What Is Life ? This is a question with many answers. A dictionary might tell us that life is a distinctive characteristic of a living organism that has he capacity to grow, metabolize, respond to stimuli, adapt, and reproduce. But, defining life requires a greater depth if we are to understand how Nature operates.   We can...

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Great Conservation Stories

Great Conservation Stories

  In between the government endorsed wolf killings and the negative environmental impact of off-road ATVs, there are many silent conservation heroes who are making a difference and setting examples for the rest of us.   As I do research for my blog posts, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that all is not gloom and doom in the world of conservation. Despite the wolf killings and the ATVs, there are many silent heroes who are making a...

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Nature’s Relationships : Fractals and Forests

Nature’s Relationships : Fractals and Forests

“Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ‘em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum. And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on; While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.”                                                                 — Jonathan Swift:  1733 David George Haskell, in his book entitled “The Songs of Trees: Stories from...

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Nature Changes On Her Own Terms

Nature Changes On Her Own Terms

Nothing in Nature exists in isolation. Life on earth is interconnected and interdependent because each plant and animal requires life’s energy flow that comes from the sun or other plants and animals. This fundamental truth about Nature is ignored by many humans who believe that mankind, and his technology, can control Nature. Much of modern conservation science implies that mankind can manipulate Nature. The fallacy of this thinking...

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Nature Is A Self Organizing Living System

Nature Is A Self Organizing Living System

  “If we could surrender to Earth’s intelligence, we would rise up rooted—like trees.” ~ Rilke   As a biologist, nature essayist, and eco-traveler,  I am often depressed and confused over the negative human impact on our Earth. Even though we are a seemingly intelligent race, we are determined to destroy the very environment that sustains human life.  Anyone who can do basic math can calculate that, within only 50 more years,...

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