An Hour Alone in Nature

I heard the creaking of tree branches, (really one tree branch in particular, ) the buzz of flies, the rustle of leaves and the traffic below me, the cars one after the other. I also heard distinct bird calls, one high pitched, delivered in staccato, another fast and a loud woodpecker, drilling for bugs. I havent’t thought too much about the fact that all birds have their own unique call, but being in nature made me much more cognizant of this fact. Finally, when I was really quiet, and the wind wasn’t too fast, I could hear the click of ants on a log. I noticed that the wind has its own sound depending on how fast it’s going. I could see tree trunks of all different sizes, dead tree branches and stumps that made me consider the various ways in which nature has a cycle. Nothing is wasted, a log that has fallen. was now the home to ants and millipedes, and fungi. Looking at the tall trunks and the tiny thin stalks with shoots of a half a dozen leaves, I was reminded how the root systems are in the earth connected.

Looking at the sloping of the earth, I was amazed how roots would sit precariously close, and hang off the cliff. I saw one tree that looked like a tuning fork, it must have been an old tree because it was very tall. Seeing the small trees with leaves that reach out to the sun, I was reminded about various survival mechanisms that are abundant in the natural world. I saw swaying tree tops, branches that looked like they would fall at any minute and tiny green sprouts that poke out from under the brown and tan leaves, the remnants of a fire, black wood which made me consider chemical change, splintered branches, fat black ants, with visible mandibles, small round red bugs, small ants with white markings on their abdomens, flies that are almost the size of a dime, the yellow and white butterflies. A reminder that humans are just one species on this planet of millions of them.

As I was leaving the woods, I became angry at the fact that people had placed trash everywhere and had not chosen to keep that spot beautiful. I saw in the bottles and the blunt wrappers a parallel with the fact that humans have a deleterious effect on nature. Those ants, those trees, have existed for many more years than us, the birds have evolved just like humans have, and yet in the pursuit of progress we bulldoze the habitats of so many creatures without even thinking about the organisms that may call those areas home. After my experience, I felt close to nature and felt connected to the dry earth, the rustling wind, the green leaves and I noticed on my walk to class later that day, I was very careful not to step on any ants, if I could avoid it.


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