A Cicada Changes Clothes

Story and photos by Deborah Daley, who finds joy observing the world around her.

Little rain has fallen during this hot, dry August.  Perfectly round holes, one-third inch across are scattered throughout my yard.  The breeze carries the music of late summer—the song of the cicada.

On this Sunday morning, I open the back door and, on the walk right in front of me, I spot a cicada wiggling around in a peculiar way.

Beehive Democracy

When a beehive gets too crowded, a queen bee will split off from the hive and take a group of bees with her to look for a new home.  They first gather in a beard-like cluster that hangs from a tree branch.  Then between 300 and 500 scout bees fly out individually in search of the perfect new home.  They observe and evaluate different sites, after which they return to the bee cluster and report on what they found.  Each scout expresses enthusiasm for her site by performing a waggle dance.  If she repeats the swirling dance many times—up to 300 times in a ten-minute period—she’s announcing,  “I found a great place.”  If another does the waggle dance only 100 times, then her site is just okay.

Walking On Earth or Walking In Earth?

"Did you ever sit on the bank of a river in some quiet spot where the water was deep and clear, and watch the fish swimming lazily along? When I was a child this was one of my favorite occupations in the summertime, and there was one question that often puzzled me as I watched the fish gliding along through the water. Why should fish live in something and be buffeted about by waves and currents, while I, and others, lived on top of the earth and not in anything?

"Now, as an adult, I learned that we do live in something quite as real and often quite as rough and stormy as the water. The something we live in is a mixture of water and air. We don’t see it because we are in it. We live in a gas field and it’s invisible to us. Our eyes can see liquid water, but not gaseous water."

Earth as Gaia, A Living Goddess

Environmental ethics begins with a worldview that recognizes Earth as a living entity. Flowing from that view come respect, love, care, conservation, protection and sustainable use for our Earth-home.

Gaia, the Greeks imagined, created the world from a swirling mist and became the Earth Goddess. Into the blackness of chaotic space charged this energetic being, swathed in white veils whirling through the darkness. “As she became visible and her dance grew ever more lively, her body formed itself into mountains and valleys; then sweat poured from her to pool into seas, and finally her flying arms stirred up a windy sky she called Ouranos — still the Greek word for sky — which she wrapped around herself as protector and mate,” writes Elisabet Sahtouris.[i]

Oberving Wisdom

As a geological lay person I have tried to understand and appreciate rocks, sand, erosion, plate tectonics, volcanoes, and earthquakes.  I’ve read some geology texts and found them a tad boring.  I’ve looked at and felt sand in the Sahara Desert.  I’ve touched granite in the High Andes Mountains in Peru and Ecuador, and noted sandstone hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  While appreciating the beauty of these places, I could never get into the rocks and sand.  They just came with the scenery. Until...

Friends: A Lizard and an Iguana

“You Scratch My Back, and I’ll Scratch Yours.”

Laurie Lizard was hanging out on a warm afternoon amid long-stemmed plants with wide leaves. “I’m hungry,” she thought, at which point she spotted Iggy Iguana lounging in the morning sun on a rock that looked just like him.

“Ah, breakfast,” she purred.

Earth Stories, Wisdom, and Ethics

This website is a place to tell stories and reflect, a place to search for wisdom and discover beauty, truth, and goodness and to pass it on as a legacy to our younger friends and relatives.

None of us has wisdom all neatly bundled and ready for delivery. Our reflections here, in the form of stories and essays try to capture the wisdom that leaks from the crevices and streams of Earth and from the hearts of mature men and women everywhere.

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