Give Me the News of the Earth

Palo Verde tree

Palo Verde tree

We start our day with Good Morning America, NPR or a faithful study of the daily newspaper. We tell ourselves we are staying abreast of local happenings and gaining perspective on world events. You could also say this media addiction is a mass exercise in navel gazing, because all of our news concerns…guess who…us!

Break free of attempts by the media to influence your thoughts and by the marketers to take your money. Find real news outside in signs from the natural world.

Outside you may hear a chorus of birds. In my backyard a verdin peeps incessantly while doves harmonize and a thasher provides the melody. Underlying the bird calls is a steady drone of bees come to visit the flowering plants.

In a deep canyon nearby I shuffle through sand and past boulders on a path made by water. The arroyo is laced with a string of golden-blossomed palo verde trees. Instead of water, bees flow by in a steady stream. Instead of the gurgle of water I hear the rising and falling buzz of these bees. Why are bees so buzzy?

Scientific American provides an answer from Gard Otis, a professor of environmental biology at the University of Guelph in Ontario who studies bee behavior, ecology and evolution.
“Bees buzz for two reasons. First, the rapid wingbeats of many species create wind vibrations that people hear as buzzes. The larger the bee, the slower the wingbeat and the lower the pitch of the resulting buzz.
In addition some bees, most commonly bumblebees (genus Bombus), are capable of vibrating their wing muscles and thorax (the middle segment of their body) while visiting flowers. These vibrations shake the pollen off the flower’s anthers and onto the bee’s body. Some of that pollen then gets deposited on the next flower the bee visits, resulting in pollination. The bee grooms the remainder of the pollen onto special pollen-carrying structures (on the hind legs of most bees) and takes it back to the nest to feed to the larvae.
When bumblebees vibrate flowers to release pollen, the corresponding buzz is quite loud. Honeybees (genus Apis) are incapable of buzz-pollination and are usually quiet when foraging on flowers.”

Outside we gradually become aware of the carefully calibrated systems that govern the remarkable relationships between thousands and millions of plants, animals, insects, microbes and minerals, as well as the currents in the oceans and the atmosphere.

Imagine, this astounding world that represents the resources that allow our existence evolved over billions of years, without any help from us. Perhaps more of us should be studying the workings of nature instead of the latest shenanigans of politicians and celebrities. Give me the news of the earth any day.


2 responses to “Give Me the News of the Earth

  1. Refreshing news! I loved this post. Thanks Gail!

  2. Yipppeeeee! It is a glorious time to listen to the news out of doors! What a great invitation. Thanks,

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