Thursday, May 19, 2016

The importance of unstructured play

I was driving down the highway rushing to some adult meeting, somewhere and saw a wooded area and swamp. I felt an attraction to go experience it. When I found it, before I knew it, the swamp had snuck up on me and flipped a familiar but often forgotten switch. 

When I was a kid, I spent a LOT of time in this kind of unstructured exploration, getting drawn in, developing a special relationship with the world. This little swamp experience reminded me. Thanks!

Sunday, March 06, 2016

The Limulus Encounter

Last summer, on the way back in from a surf, I had an amazing encounter with a couple of American horseshoe crabs (Limulus polymephus) doing their thing. 

If you look really closely you can see how the pusher leg works. The last leg has a really cool articulated shape that splays out when the animal pushes it against the sand (like an inside-out umbrella).
The pusher leg with foot closed...
...and open (as when pushing against sand)

I always wondered about why it had that shape and now I see!! In the video you too can see how well the pusher leg works. Awesome, beautiful, and WAY COOOL!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Extending Kinship

I’ve always sensed a certain incompleteness to the argument that we need to simply think about our children in order to care about and implement environmental change. Caring for our children is certainly a strong and compelling emotion that we can all share. But there is still something fundamentally incomplete about the idea that this can be enough. No, it’s not just about loving our children, it's about feeling love for nature and planet directly. It's is about expanding a similar kind of love we feel for our children to the larger community of living things, and then, by-default, to our children, our pets, our planet and ourselves. This is a fuller expression of gratitude that can transcend the limited seeing of only our children’s well-being as important. Look around, there is a lot of damage done by people striving to take industrious care of their offspring. As far as love is concerned, this might ultimately be an all or nothing proposition.