Little Worlds

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be an insect? To be so teeny tiny that you can sit on a leaf? To live in a world so small that each minute is like a day? I do. Every time I see a butterfly or a dragonfly or a bee, I try to imagine myself in that little world… Continue reading

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Overpopulation

On today, my 25th birthday, I find this to be a fitting subject for a post.
Disease, infertility, famine, natural disasters.. I think the Earth is trying to tell us something. There’s too frickin many of us!!! If you have seen the movie Idiocracy you were probably, like me, quietly terrified by the plausibility of such a future. Just last week I watched a few minutes of a show my mom had recorded on the dvr about kids that live in hotels. One of the families was comprised of a mother working the night shift at a hospital, an unemployed father, two young boys, a daughter and shiny new baby. Why would you continue to reproduce in that situation?!?! Why are people who can’t afford to have kids having so many?? I’ll tell you why, it’s because they’re dumb Americans.  Dumb- because of their obliviousness about the planet they live on, American- because of their mindless adherence to the ways of media-driven consumerism. Continue reading

Tidbits on Environmentalism

In the past, environmentalists have generally been viewed as wussies. This is because most people equate environmentalists to protesters/hippies/PETA/etc.. I would like to say that since working for a state park where my work is centered mostly around conservation and preservation of natural resources (i.e. caring for the environment), I have enhanced my badassness 10-fold.
Some of my job responsibilities as a person taking care of the environment include: Continue reading

Fire Ecology

I’ve been wanting to write about fire for a long time. It is an important component of a healthy ecosystem, and many people are completely unaware of the ecological benefits of setting the woods on fire.

Forest fires are a naturally occurring phenomenon. You go for a while without rain, everything dries up, then a storm comes through and lightning strikes a tree, boom: forest fire. It’s probably a little more complicated than that, but you get the idea. Long ago, fire would burn continuously across the landscape. As a result, many plants and animals adapted and now depend on fire to survive and propagate. The Native Americans weren’t stupid, they knew fire was important. They burned to clear underbrush and to create land to hunt. Europeans, long removed from living in harmony with nature, then came along and changed America forever.

I grew up thinking forest fires were an evil, Bambi-killing destructive force. Forest fires will always have their casualties, but from death comes rebirth. Let me paint a picture for you… Continue reading

Butterflies

Gulf fritillary at the farm by Vickis Nature on Flickr

"Gulf fritillary at the farm" by Vicki's Nature on Flickr

When you think of a butterfly what do you think of? A bug with big pretty wings? A monarch? A tattoo?

At my current position as an AmeriCorps volunteer, I’ve had the great pleasure of learning about these fascinating creatures. We had some volunteers come to the park and spruce up our neglected, existing butterfly garden. It was decided that the butterfly garden needed a kiosk with butterfly information, and I got the lucky position of creating that information. I put a lot of research into the information, working closely with Dr. Leesa Sward, a park volunteer and college professor. Since working on the project I’ve developed a great fascination and appreciation for butterflies.

To a lot of girls my age, a butterfly is a symbol. A symbol of beauty, metamorphosis, and carefreeness. To me, they are also a member of the order Lepidoptera, crucial pollinators of flowering plants, and food for birds and reptiles. I am amazed at the transformation they make from caterpillars to butterflies. Imagine growing a shell around yourself, losing your human form, and emerging as a bird. How does that happen? It’s science I know, but it’s magical that it even takes place. Perhaps that is why they are so fascinating to me, because they were once something else.

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