Happy (belated) Earth day

Because the weekend forecast indicated that Earth Day would be rainy, we spent Friday and Saturday doing things like laundry, cleaning the pig pen, mowing and trimming the lawn, and checking on the bee hives. At day’s end, I took a walk with camera in hand – thus the image of goat kids and the dandelion. It has always impressed me (quite literally – the fact has always made an impression upon me) that one can predict the date by the timing of seed set in this ubiquitous weedWhen dandelions are in flower it is the end of April. This is just one of many annual events that I am very much aware of. A contemplation of nature’s many cycles will be a topic for an extended post, another time. We all know that the Earth rotates on its axis once in 24 hours – and that a year represents its 365 day passage about the Sun. Many of us learned about the hydrologic cycle and perhaps the carbon and nitrogen cycles when we were in high school. But what of these Earthly cycles? Are they disconnected natural phenomena? Did you know that the Gaia Hypothesis argues that Earth itself is a living organism? If you will allow analogy with the human body, the interactions between and among the human immune, digestive, reproductive, and neuromuscular systems are paralleled, in the argument made by the Gaia Hypothesis, by interactions between and among the biosphere (the living part of the Earth (including you and me)), the hydrosphere (the Earth’s water), the atmosphere (the Earth’s gaseous envelope), and the pedosphere (the Earth’s soil layer). Although Earth Day will have come and gone by the time you read this post, why don’t you stop and take a minute to consider that you may, in fact, be a very small part of a much larger organism – Earth. What a thing to contemplate. If you are indeed a commensal or mutualistic symbiont (and, let us hope, not a parasite) consider that it is your responsibility, as an integral part of this super-organism (as integral a part as, for example, an individual cell would be to the proper function of your body), to work to ensure its health and sustainability. Happy Earth Day.

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