My musings on 3 March 2017

Here are my recent musings on Nature’s Web of Life.

 

This series of blog posts contains sources for my musings, my research, and my preparation for my student seminars. I am happy to share with you.  If you find any of the articles interesting, I hope that you will offer your comments at the end of the list.

 

In this list of musings, I am focusing on the art of systems thinking when engaging Nature

***********

The art of systems thinking in driving sustainable transformation

***********

Why Systems Thinking?

***********

Ecological understanding requires a new way of thinking

***********

Systems Thinking: Seeing How Everything is Connected

***********

How Systems Thinking Is Helping Us Create A More Sustainable World

***********

Applying System Thinking To Natural Resource Management

***********

In 1949, Aldo Leopold wrote in A Sand County Almanac that :

 “All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. His instincts prompt him to compete for his place in the community but his ethics prompt him to co-operate (perhaps in order that there may be a place to compete .”

***********

Teaching Systems Thinking

***********

A Video. Systems thinking: From “balance of nature” to “balance with nature”

***********

Tapping into Nature: Systems thinking feeds inspiration

***********

Systems Thinking In A Complicated World

***********

Systems Thinking Through Art In Nature

***********

What You Should Know About Systems Thinking

***********

System Thinking Tools: Understanding Hierarchy

 

***********

My Musings On 3 February 2017

Here are my recent musings on Nature’s Web of Life.

This series of blog posts contains sources for my musings, my research, and my preparation for my student seminars. I am happy to share with you.  If you find any of the articles interesting, I hope that you will offer your comments at the end of the list. In this curated list of my musings, I have selected “superorganisms” as the topic.

***********

A comprehensive description and review of the Gaia hypothesis

***********

Gaia Theory Website

***********

Ask a biologist. Secrets of a superorganism – ant colonies

***********

Seabed superorganism uses electricity to lock up greenhouse gas

***********

Humans as Superorganisms: How Microbes, Viruses, Imprinted Genes, and Other Selfish Entities Shape Our Behavior

***********

Humans are contingent superorganisms

Humans are the giraffes of altruism. We’re freaks of nature, able (at our best) to achieve ant-like levels of service to the group. We readily join together to create superorganisms, but unlike the eusocial insects, we do it with blatant disregard for kinship, and we do it temporarily, and contingent upon special circumstances (particularly intergroup conflict, as is found in war, sports, and business).

***********

The Secret Society Of Superorganisms. – Species that form superorganism colonies are highly successful. E.O. Wilson  raises a fundamental question for biologists. “Why do groups arise in the first place?”

***********

Superorganisms – An Internet guide to the social system of superorganisms. From Natural History Magazine

***********

Top 5 Superorganisms – YouTube

***********

E.O. Wilson on ‘Superorganisms – YouTube

***********

Lord of the Ants. A Nova YouTube video on E.O.Wilson. Narrated by Harrison Ford

***********

My musings on 20 January, 2017

Here are my recent musings on Nature’s Web of Life.

This series of blog posts contains sources for my musings, my research, and my preparation for my student seminars. I am happy to share these with you.  If you find any of the articles interesting, I hope that you will offer your comments at the end of the list.

This collection of musings focuses on sounds in Nature and soundscape ecology.  Soundscape ecology is an important growing field of research and conservation practice that uses sound to track how ecosystems change over time. Just like we humans have a need to communicate with each other, animal and bird sounds are the communicating systems by which connectivity between creatures is achieved in Nature. These communications are vital to mating, territory establishment and protection, capturing food, individual and group defense, play, and social contact. Human noise can break these important connections and adversely affect Nature’s ecosystems.

***********

Here are three blog posts that I have written on the subject of Nature’s soundscapes and the damage that can be caused by humans with their noise:

Nature’s Symphony 

The Conservation of Quiet 

RV Generator Noise Breaks Connections In Nature 

***********

What is soundscape ecology?

***********

The Voice Of The Natural World. Bernie Kraus is a well known early pioneer in the field of Nature,s sounds and soundscape ecology. By his own count, Bernie has recorded the sounds of more than 15,000 animal species and recorded more than 4,500 hours of their natural ambience. Here is a TED talk by Bernie

***********

Here is a informative article about Bernie Krause and the science of soundscape ecology.

***********

Bernie Kraus’s web site

***********

Another well know soundscape ecologist is Gordon Hempton. He says: 

“Good things come from a quiet place: study, prayer, music, transformation, worship, communion. The words ‘peace’ and ‘quiet’ are all but synonymous, and are often spoken in the same breath. A quiet place is the think tank of the soul, the spawning ground of truth and beauty.

A quiet place outdoors has no physical borders or limits to perception. One can commonly hear for miles and listen even farther. A quiet place affords a sanctuary for the soul, where the difference between right and wrong becomes more readily apparent. It is a place to feel the love that connects all things, large and small, human and not; a place where presence of a tree can be heard. A quiet place is a place to open up all your senses and come alive.”

***********

The US National Park Service has a soundscape inventory and monitoring program at Denali National Park in Alaska.  The sound-level data are used to compare the levels of human-made sounds to the natural ambient levels.

***********

An article by the US National Park Service on human sounds at national parks.

***********

Noise vs. Nature: How We’re Upsetting America’s Soundscapes

***********

Acoustic ecology and ethical listening.

***********

From Scripps Institute of Oceanography – Behavioral Acoustic Ecology Lab 

“A broad range of invertebrates and vertebrates use sound for communication and sensing of their environment. Each ecosystem contains a unique symphony of sounds, a soundscape, that informs us about its species composition, possibly abundance, and together with information about the physical environment leads to the characterization of the ecology and behavior of the species producing and interpreting sound. Acoustics can be used to investigate how the individual’s behavior may be shaping the ecology of the community or how individuals and populations may be reacting to a changing environment.”

***********

My Latest Musings On 6 January 2017

Here are my recent musings on Nature’s Web of Life.

This series of blog posts contains sources for my musings, my research, and my preparation for my student seminars. I am happy to share with you.  If you find any of the articles interesting, I hope that you will offer your comments at the end of the list.

I am a deeply spiritual person when I am engaging Nature. In preparing a blog essay on the serene, the pristine, and the sacred voice of Nature, the  resources listed below have inspired my thinking on this subject.

***********

Henry Beston’s Beautiful 1948 Manifesto for Reclaiming Our Humanity by Breaking the Tyranny of Technology and Relearning to Be Nurtured by Nature.

***********

Exploring Our Connections to Nature.  In this environmental education lesson module, students will explore how their lives are linked to everything in their communities and ecosystems at varying scales. Through personal and group exploration, students will begin to understand our role in our ecosystem and how the decisions we make directly affect all living things.

***********

Guy Tal is a deeply spiritual nature photographer who is a very gifted writer. Take a look at his blog.

Below are four of his wonderful essays

***********

Spirituality Beyond Platitudes – Guy Tal

***********

Contemplation, Meditation, and Mindfulness – Guy Tal

***********

Restlessness – Guy Tal

***********

By far, one of my favorite Guy Tal essays is paraphrased here:

The indispensable roles held for me are wilderness, solitude and art. Others like me are content with just a few significant human relationships and for whom life in the midst of humanity is unbearable – people who need such introspective moments as are to be found alone in deserts and mountains and  forests and rivers and anywhere else yet unspoiled by industry, or when immersed in creative work for no other purpose than to nourish and sustain a part of ourselves that will otherwise wither and wilt, and without which our lives will be greatly diminished.

I come to wilderness places not only to be by  myself, but to be myself – whole and separate, with nothing to prove or to explain, and so that I may face my challenges and inspirations without distraction, without being beholden to appearances and traditions, without the noise and clatter and prejudice of the human hives, without the constant tugging of matters trivial and mundane, and without concern or conjecture about what was and what is yet to come.

It may well be that my greater legacy will not be my art but rather yet another story of an improbable wanderer bewitched and transformed by this landscape, lured by the hope of finding meaning and redemption in its soulful wilds. That is enough for one man and one life. Even if it all comes to an end tomorrow, I am grateful for having lived such a life, and for the beauty and pain and people that made it possible and that helped me become who I am.

I have nothing to prove and no concern for any legacy. I am where I need to be and my priorities are sound, and my life is interesting and rewarding and exciting to me, and I am at peace with my choices and my convictions and my shortfalls and my pains.

I no longer visit wild places, I return to them; they are my home and my sanctuary, the source of my strengths and convictions and the wellspring of my inspiration and my support.

       — Paraphrased from Guy Tal “Reentry”  guytal.com

***********

Here are some quotes from another favorite author of mine – Edward Abbey

I hold no preference among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous. – Desert Solitaire “Cliffrose and Bayonets”, p. 25 (1968)

The domination of nature leads to the domination of human nature. – Beyond The Wall: Essays from the Outside, 1971

There are no vacant lots in nature. – Desert Solitude, “The First Morning,” p.6, Ballantine Books, NY, NY, 1968

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. – The Journey Home (1991) The Rape of the West p. 183

Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit. – Down the River, 148

Nature is indifferent to our love, but never unfaithful – A Voice Crying in the Wilderness, Notes from a Secret Journal, 1986, Ch,9 p86

***********

A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.

        — L.P. Jacks

***********

I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

The solitary man can remember that all beauty in animals and plants is a silent, enduring form of love and yearning, and he can see the animal, as he sees plants, patiently and willingly uniting and multiplying and growing, not out of physical pleasure, not out of physical pain, but bowing to necessities that are greater than pleasure and pain, and more powerful than will and withstanding.

But everything that may someday be possible for many people, the solitary man can now, already, prepare and build with his own hands, which make fewer mistakes. Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away, you write, and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast. And if what is near you is far away, then your vastness is already among the stars and is very great; be happy about your growth, in which of course you can’t take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don’t torment them with your doubts and don’t frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn’t be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn’t necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.

Don’t ask for any advice from them and don’t expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.

But your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it you will find all your paths.

        – Rilke Letters to a Young Poet

***********

My musings on 23 December, 2016

Here are my recent musings on Nature’s Web of Life.

This series of blog posts contains sources for my musings, my research, and my preparation for my student seminars. I am happy to share with you.  If you find any of the articles interesting, I hope that you will offer your comments at the end of the list.

This list of “musings” focuses on wild Nature videos.

***********

The Feast of Predators. An exciting video of wild Nature that focuses on predation.

***********

David Attenborough’s Powerful Goodbye with an urgent and poignant plea to humanity.

***********

The Gathering of Swarms. A video about collective Nature — animal groups. This video includes the monarch butterfly, Antarctic penguin colonies, and other examples of collective behavior.

***********

Touching The Wild — seeing the world through a wild creature’s eyes. Seeing the character of a wild animal.

***********

King penguins – David Attenborough: Life in the Freezer. Filmed at South Georgia Island in the Southern Atlantic. An incredible place. I’ve visited twice.

***********

Ocean animals – leopard seals vs. penguins – David Attenborough – BBC wildlife

***********

Southern Ocean – Sights and Sounds. My video composite of some of my wildlife encounters in the Southern Ocean during my travels in the Southern Atlantic Ocean

***********

Egrets –  In a cruel struggle of the Darwinian sort, baby egrets see who will survive and who will be sacrificed to the alligators that wait below.

***********

Jaguar Attacks Caiman Crocodile. With their aquatic skills – and powerful bite – jaguars are able to prey on the crocodile-like caiman. An extraordinary act of such predation was filmed by a tourist in Brazil’s Pantanal.

************

The Sagebrush Sea.  It’s been called The Big Empty – an immense sea of sagebrush that once stretched 500,000 square miles across North America. Yet it’s far from empty, as those who look closely will discover. In this ecosystem anchored by the sage, eagles and antelope, badgers and lizards, rabbits, wrens, owls, prairie dogs, songbirds, hawks and migrating birds of all description make their homes.

************

Wild Yellowstone – The Frozen Frontier

Temperatures below minus 40 degrees, blizzards and six months of snow cover, no place on Earth is like Yellowstone in winter. This world of fire and ice has over ten thousand boiling hot springs, geysers, steam vents and mudpots. In Yellowstone, every animal fights for survival, struggles to find food and tries to stay alive against an onslaught of heavy snows, polar temperatures and ferocious predators. This is the story of how Yellowstone’s most iconic animals have adapted to survive in North America’s first National Park.

************

My musings for 9 December 2016.

This series of blog posts contains sources for my musings, my research, and my preparation for my student seminars. I am happy to share with you.  If you find any of the articles interesting, I hope that you will offer your comments at the end of the list.

Systems thinking is the process of understanding how things influence one another within a whole. In nature, systems thinking examples include ecosystems in which various elements such as air, water, movement, plants, and animals work together to survive or perish. M y musings this week are a list of Internet offerings on the subject of systems thinking in Nature.

***********

 An overview of systems thinking

***********

Systems Thinking has been defined as an approach to problem solving, by viewing “problems” as parts of an overall system, rather than reacting to specific part, outcomes or events and potentially contributing to further development of unintended consequences. Systems thinking is not one thing but a set of habits or practices

***********

From Learning For Sustainability

Standing in contrast to positivist and reductionist thinking, systems thinking sets out to view systems in a holistic manner. Consistent with systems philosophy, systems thinking concerns an understanding of a system by examining the linkages and interactions between the elements that comprise the whole of the system.

***********

Can Systems Thinking Actually Solve Sustainability Challenges?

Systems thinking is a trans-disciplinary “framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static snapshots” (Peter Senge). Therefore, a systems thinker frames a problem in terms of a pattern of behavior over time, instead of focusing on particular events. Instead of microscopic, they strive for macroscopic, seeing beyond the details to the context of relationships in which they are embedded. Today, it is used by academics and practitioners alike to address sustainability challenges.

***********

A Teachers’ Guidebook for Applying Systems Thinking to Environmental Education Curricula for Grades 9-12

***********

Food Security and Sustainability: Systems thinking and environmental sustainability

***********

Systems Thinking Concepts For Environmental Education

***********

Introduction To Systems Thinking: A slideshare presentation

http://www.slideshare.net/Think2Impact/module-1-introduction-to-systems-thinking

***********

How systems thinking applies to education

***********

My Latest Musings On 25 November 2016

Here are my recent musings on Nature’s Web of Life.

This series of blog posts contains sources for my musings, my research, and my preparation for my student seminars. I am happy to share with you.  If you find any of the articles interesting, I hope that you will offer your comments at the end of the list.

This list of musings is about the spiritual voice of Nature.

***********

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in

From “Anthem” by Leonard Cohen

Rest in peace November 7, 2016

***********

Thin places“, is a Celtic Christian term for “those rare locales where the distance between heaven and Earth collapses”, as Eric Weiner puts it in his spirituality travelogue, Man Seeks God. They’ve been called “the places in the world where the walls are weak”, where another dimension seems nearer than usual. They might be traditionally religious spots, but they needn’t be. The location of the very old Ironwood tree embracing the aging Saguaro cactus (shown in the image above) is one of my favorite thin places where I receive great solace from Nature.

***********

The Celtic Christians believed that there were mystical spaces, called “thin places,” where the veil between the holy and the human is traversed. A place in which the physical and spiritual worlds are knit together, and if we are so attuned, we can transcend the ordinary for a glimpse of the infinite.

***********

Nature’s Three Voices 

***********

Voice of the Natural World – Soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause talks about the sounds of Nature

***********

Spiritual connection with nature is one of the most profound experiences we can have as human beings. Beyond the ordinary world in which we live there is another spiritual dimension beyond the world which we know.

***********

North American Indians: the spirituality of nature

***********

6 Ways to Deepen Your Spiritual Relationship to Nature – EcoWatch

***********

Spiritual Practices for Nature-Deficit Disorder

***********

Nature Connection: Solace and guidance from nature

***********

My musings on 11 November 2016

Here are my recent musings on Nature’s Web of Life.

 

This series of blog posts contains sources for my musings, my research, and my preparation for my student seminars. I am happy to share with you.  If you find any of the articles interesting, I hope that you will offer your comments at the end of the list.

 

The following is a list of short Nature videos produced by my good friend, Mike Foster. Mike works primarily in Southeastern Arizona in the United States  and Northern Sonora, Mexico. I hope you agree that his interests are varied and interesting.

 

***********

Return of the Beaver To The San Pedro River

**********

How Javalina protect their young

**********

Day of the Dead and Changing Traditions in Mexico

This video includes the Day of the Dead celebration, indigenous additions to religion, Virgin of Guadalupe, La Calavera Catrina, a herbalist or yerbera and the use or plants.

**********

Cottonwoods are the largest trees in Arizona. Learn more about how the cottonwood tree contributes to the ecosystem and protects the San Pedro Riparian Area in this video.

**********

“The Ayal a Natural Medicine” is a video about a fascinating natural medicine made from the fruit of a tropical tree that grows as far north as central Sonora Mexico. In this video you will see curanderos explaining how this plant can be used.

**********

Our River: A Work In Progress  A progress report on the conservation of the San Predro River.

**********

Our River of Life, The San Pedro, and why it is so important to preserve.

**********

Hydrology of the San Pedro River

**********

Ecology of the San Pedro River

**********

My Latest Musings For 28 October 2016

Here are my recent musings on Nature’s Web of Life.

This series of blog posts contains sources for my musings, my research, and my preparation for my student seminars. I am happy to share with you.  If you find any of the articles interesting, I hope that you will offer your comments at the end of the list.

 

This set of musings focuses on teaching material that might be useful to educators and students who are preparing material on patterns in Nature.

 

**********

What Is A pattern In Nature: from my own web site

**********

The Earth’s Most Stunning Fractal Patterns – from Wired Magazine

***********

National Geographic’s Dazzling Video of a Glowworm Cave in New Zealand

***********

A Beautiful 3 Minute Video Essay on Patterns In Nature

***********

Patterns In Nature and the Mathematics Behind Them — a very nice set of slides on the subject thatr might be useful to environmental educators.

***********

How To: Photograph Patterns in Nature – Through a camera and your contemplative soul, take the time to look around and study Nature’s intimate details, and you’ll see Her infinite variety of patterns

***********

The Hypnotic Effect of Sunflower Patterns

***********

A Great Lesson Set on Patterns In Nature — for environmental educators

***********

The Fibonacci numbers are Nature’s numbering system. They appear everywhere in Nature, from the leaf arrangement in plants, to the pattern of the florets of a flower, the bracts of a pinecone, or the scales of a pineapple.

***********

Beauty:Patterns In Nature — Lesson Sets

***********

Pattern Formation in Nature from Princeton University

***********

Nature’s Unifying Patterns

***********

My latest musings on 14 October 2016

Here are my recent musings on Nature’s Web of Life.

 

This series of blog posts contains sources for my musings, my research, and my preparation for my student seminars. I am happy to share with you.  If you find any of the articles interesting, I hope that you will offer your comments at the end of the list.

 

This list focuses on the Olive Ridley turtle which lays its eggs on our beaches near Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico (and other places in Mexico) each year about now. My high school students have been assigned a project to study these creatures and to help in the rescue of nests that have been molested by predators or by human ATV traffic and other human activity. The list I offer below is the same list that I have given to my students.

 

***********

Home video from a November 2007 hatching near San Carlos, Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico

 

***********

Video of PROFEPA (Mexican Federal Environmental Agency) releasing hatchings

 

***********

Video of Olive Ridley hatching

 

***********

Video – Tortugueros México – A great video of many Olive Ridley turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs.

 

***********

Information from NOAA Fisheries on Olive Ridley turtles 

 

***********

Information from Sea Turtle Conservancy about Olive Ridley turtles –,trends, threats, and conservation efforts

 

***********

Here is a blog post that I wrote about ATV traffic on San Francisco beach  (San Carlos, Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico) while Olive Ridley turtles are hatching. A group of volunteers have been active in trying to stop the ATVs.

 

***********

A video of a turtle being released from a long line trawler

 

***********

A video of a huge number of turtles arriving and laying eggs on the beaches near Oaxaca

 

***********

Flying over thousands of turtles at the beaches of Oaxaca

 

***********