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what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?
http://forum.theppk.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3488
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Author:  megs [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:17 pm ]
Post subject:  what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

Hey PPK,

I'm doing research for a new play I'm developing this week, and the director has asked us all to bring in fifteen images/sounds/short texts/short video clips/etc. that excite/provoke/inspire us about the natural world.

(The piece is about climate change and the connection of our personal life to the life of the planet--it explores a dying man's relationship with the world he's shut himself off from.)

For some reason, I feel stupid stuck on this. The things that excite me about the natural world seem to be all about our connection to it, not it itself, if that makes sense.

So I take it to you!

Does anyone have gorgeous images etc. they feel like sharing?

(What I have so far: mysterious noises in the ocean, like The Bloop (http://www.damninteresting.com/the-call-of-the-bloop), a poem, some text from The World Without Us, images of lightning storms, a bit from a Radiolab podcast about language use among animals.)

Author:  mushroom slave [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

The live oaks covered in spanish moss down South. Here's a picture I took of one while I was in New Orleans last summer.
Pretty much any tree talks to me but I love these, magnolia and dogwood most of all.

Image

Author:  FootFace [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

What excites me is evolution: all life on Earth is related. Not just in a "web of life" sense, but in a physical, literal way. We all come from the same place and share fundamental things with each other. There are genes in us and, say, treehoppers and bristlecone pines that carry out the same functions! I still find the incredible diversity—and commonality—of life on Earth to be breath-taking.

Digression: It's like with language. All the diversity, thousands of rich, beautiful, mutually unintelligible forms (like species, I guess). But underpinning them all is the same basic set of hardware. The differences, while great, are only the part we see. The similarities run deep. (Like our relatedness to all living things.)

Also, in keeping (sort of) with your reference to World Without Us, I've never forgotten the moment I realized that we're not the lynchpin of the planet: I was watching some nature show and there were lions stalking their prey. The lions were moving in a coordinated way, waiting for the right time, creating their opportunity. The obvious point finally was clear: they didn't need us. They were doing it on their own. It was like an axiom I had never been aware of before.

Author:  Meggs [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

Stars. Space. I'm obsessed. In love.
Sunsets/sunsets take my breath away.
Nature is amazing.

It shocks me how many people don't take time to just stop and appreciate nature. I know that I didn't for a very long time and now that I do, it's... yeah. No words.

Author:  stephanie [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

Auroras!
Image

Ball lightning and sprites are very cool.

Some other weird things I love about the natural world:
+ deep-sea and island gigantism
+ basically everything about the deep sea, really
+ this isn't exactly the natural world, but I loooooooooooooooove Prypiat and the natural reclamation process in general
+ the golden ratio
+ quarks (charm! strange!)
+ coelacanths and other living fossils
+ Lazarus taxons (Wollemi 'pines' are the coolest, especially because the whereabouts of their natural stands are undisclosed to the public)
+ Cordyceps unilateralis -- this is forking TERRIFYING, but well worth a read
+ absolutely everything about Madagascar, where most of flora and fauna do not exist anywhere else in the world
+ tsingy
Image
+ Project Excelsior
Image

The fact that every feeling, thought, urge, or motion I have ever imagined or completed has always been derived exclusively from some electrical activity happening in a three-pound lump of gelatinous beige stuff bouncing around inside of my skull.
And, of course, the fact that everything we have ever seen or comprehended or known? Made of space dust, created as the result of some random explosion that no one will ever be able to truly comprehend or explain.

ETA: Watermelon snow!!!!!!!!

Author:  Squeak [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

I don't have a pic to go with it, but the first time I saw snow, I was pretty awestruck.

Author:  megs [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

oh my word, you are all awesome. Especially Meggs, with such an awesome, awesome username.

This is great stuff to think about.

more!

ETA: except for you, stephanie, you've gone above and beyond. mega thanks!

Author:  hoveringdog [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

That cave in Mexico is pretty awesome.

Image

Author:  hana [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

that everything in the Universe is made out of the same fundamental building blocks- the stuff that makes us us is the same stuff that distant galaxies are made of. The fact that the atoms my body is made of have been in existence since the beginning of time and have just been in countless other permutations before they were me. amazing.

Author:  Erinnerung [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

On the weekend I was watching that Attenborough documentary about birds of paradise (because I watch it every time it's on, it never gets old). The one with this bird:

Image

And it just blew my mind that these birds instinctively know how to do this elaborate dance. It's not like the birds all sit around at dance camp and learn the steps from older birds, they just know it. Makes human instinct look pretty subpar.

So yeah, instinct.

Also, the deep sea blows my mind, but in a bad way. I'm terrified of the things down there.

Author:  mushroom slave [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

hoveringdog wrote:
That cave in Mexico is pretty awesome.

Oh my god, that is amazing!

Author:  lavawitch [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

hoveringdog wrote:
That cave in Mexico is pretty awesome.

Image


This is Naica Cave in Chihuahua. The crystals are a form of gypsum called selenite. The cave is ~30 million years ago.

I find rocks inspiring. All of them.

Author:  8ball [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

This excites, provokes, inspires and terrifies me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEheh1BH34Q&feature=related

Author:  torque [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

the sense of hugeness involved in an ocean sky, or when looking up on a clear night. on a day when i can see to the ocean on one side and to the mountains on the other, the vastness of the forest (and i live in the atlantic rain forest, which is pretty sparse compared to the "real" rain forest.)

and similarly, rivers of leafcutter ants, which live even in the cities here in Brazil and go flowing down the street like rivers. These ants have the potential to demolish an entire village in a day, but usually they keep to my collard greens, or yellow flowers (which seem to be their favorite) and lift up the little pieces they cut like sails and plunge into a torrent of little sails flowing down the city blocks. the majesty and perfection in something so tiny, it's amazing.

Author:  appifanie [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

The Maine coast. http://www.google.com/images?q=maine+co ... 70&bih=749

Author:  b.vicious [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

Blue whales. They're HUGE! http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/a ... eractive#/

Author:  Invictus [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

Storms. Vast, crashing lightening storms

Author:  Meggs [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

Halo of The Cat's Eye:
Image
Spicules: Jets on the Sun:
Image
Flame Nebula Close Up:
Image
Basically, most things from here: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html
megs wrote:
Especially Meggs, with such an awesome, awesome username.

Twins.

Awesome stuff, Stephanie! I need to check it ALL out... but what I looked at- fantastic!

Author:  Muffin-Tuffin [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

In my hometown, nature made us hot tubs!!!
Image
Olympic Hot Springs in Port Angeles,WA

Author:  CNA [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

These are not my pictures, but I absolutely love coastal redwoods. <3
Image
Image

Author:  starrynight87 [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

Definitely stars. You know . . . as if my screenname didn't get that across to you.

Author:  booberthefraggle [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

Black holes! Space in general, the vastness of space in particular. the fibonacci sequence in nature.

Author:  kara kara [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

Mountains. I never saw a real mountain until about a year and a half ago when I went to Anchorage the first time. They're so big and so beautiful and humbling. During the flight from Seattle to ANC, I stared out the window the entire time as we flew over Canada. I loved being in Anchorage and seeing mountains as we were wandering about the city. Also, flying into Seattle, and seeing Mt Rainier was pretty awesome too.

I gotta get out of the Midwest.

Author:  zaqette [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

Everything in science makes my head explode with happiness and wonder and awe!! The awesomeness of space makes my head explode. The incredible machinery of cells makes my head explode. The beauty of chemistry makes my head explode. Evolution makes my head explode. That's why I became a scientist and why I lead a volunteer organization that does science demos for kids. Yay science!!

It's maybe not quite what you were looking for, and it's not everyone's cup of tea, but the songs / videos at http://www.symphonyofscience.com/ give me chills. I'm going to go back in time and marry Carl Sagan.

Author:  Wyvern [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what about nature excites/provokes/inspires you?

Meggs wrote:
Spicules: Jets on the Sun:
Image


More Spicules, I saved this picture and was going to make it my desktop, but haven't yet. But your picture reminded me I have this. I think I like yours better.

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