If anyone doubts what I have written about how wet this Spring was, they should check out news reports from central Europe.
The highest level of Elbe River since someone started keeping track came...and the river continued to rise. Other rivers do not receive as much attention because they are merely “higher” than usual.
A glimpse of news reports displays, once again, man’s inability to thwart nature. Each report shows people filling sandbags and stacking them agains leaking dikes. This is not unlike helicopters dropping water on a raging forest fire. Nature always wins.
Or is it? The looks like the result of two airplanes passing overhead. This is more like a collaboration of humans and nature to create a piece of natural art. Whatever it is, it caught my eye and caused me to reach for my phone/camera.
This is not something to interest everyone, but I found it fascinating.
First of all, this points out--if out needs pointing--how intricate, complicated, and ingenious nature is. How cool is the mechanism described? I recall noticing climbing plants and wondering how they work, but would never be able to figure this out without the help of researchers.
Second, this shows again how creative humans can be in studying nature. Someone had to invent and produce a machine to replicate one feature of a plant. Who has money and time for that?
Finally, I wonder why scientists study such aspects of nature. Either someone is interested in this subject...or they are running out of topics to investigate.
With some imagination, one can find parallels to human use of others to pull themselves to higher levels in the hierarchy. Social climbing cannot be achieved without using (often invisible) tendrils...
While driving today, I reminded myself to enjoy nature outside the car. Times passes so quickly, that one often ignores life around oneself.
Unfortunately, awareness of the beauty of nature caused my foolish brain to spin out of control. I started wondering about the ways of nature and asked ridiculous questions--all unanswerable. I’m certain that more-intelligent folks have pondered such issues and might even have an answer or two.
For example, why do trees lose their leaves...but only in temperate regions? Why do flowers have to die? Why are some plants annual and some perennial? Why are strawberry seeds on the outside? Why do turtles return to a single beach to reproduce, after traveling the world’s seas? How do they find the right beach?
At some point, traffic took my mind off foolish thoughts and I moved on to new foolishness: revising scenes in a new novel.
_ I noticed a headline, which made me stop and wonder...at the choice of words.
“90ft Wave Tamed”
This was something that I never expected to happen. Waves are so powerful and man so insignificant.
The photo accompanying the article explained it all. There was no battle between man and wave. No wave was subdued. It was merely a case of a sporty form of running away from conflict...skirting the issue...riding a wave. This guy did not even consider meeting the wave in a fight...which was wise of him.
Nature always wins in a fight...unless the story is placed in the hands of a headline writer.
No, not Angelina Jolie…
I mean flying at night with thunderstorms in the vicinity of the flight path (just not too close!).
The plane took off from Orlando airport shortly after sunset on runway 17 or roughly to the south. After take off, the plane turned to the left towards the coast and the Great Circle route that would get us to Europe. There’s not much to see around the airport or towards the coast and light was fading, but we were fortunate enough to have a flight path directly over Cape Canaveral. Space Center lights were burning, lit up despite recently going out of business. The tall building (I forget the name) where they used to assemble space vehicles, the roads that bore the weight of huge loads, and the various launch pads were clearly visible, as were lights up and down the coast. Once the foolish politicians force the government to shut down, the Space Center will surely go dark. I was lucky to see the light show provided by an iconic site, before it’s too late.
But, that was not my point about scary beautiful; another light show was even more dazzling. The pilot, a woman (special German Word of the Day: Pilotin is a female pilot), did a good job of avoiding the numerous thunder cells over central Florida and off the coast. The route provided a good view of a spectacular natural light show (which needs no government funding), appreciated more by anyone knowing the deadly nature of Nature. We had watched the show the previous night from the beach, as storms fired off the coast at regular intervals. It was a bigger thrill to see the show from the air, with lightning in, around, and behind towering cumulous clouds, lighting up the sky, clouds, and ocean.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.