What Nature Can Offer

Growing up in urban areas my whole life, I have fairly limited amount of experience with nature. However, every summer growing up I would travel to rural areas in Quezon Province, Philippines. I loved the outdoors and everything about it, but then I would go back into the city and forget the feeling. Standing on beaches, seeing the beauty of the mountains, and also the smells of nature were all evoked during the experience in Linda Weintraub's woods. The whole experience, as well as the documentary that we watched for class, "What Plants Think About?" have reminded me that not just humans and the animals we normally associate with are alive, but everything around us is. These are facts that we can easily forget while we are surrounded by the technological advances that dominate our society.

Going through the woods, it showed me how consistent everything we normally interact with in today's society is. The different textures, the dirt, the tree bark, the pine cones, are natural and inconsistent textures that I believe is missing in today's society. It was cool to see that every one of our senses can be used to further add to the experience as well. Going out into the wilderness and experiencing nature needs to be something everyone needs to do every now and then, if not for the beauty of nature, then for the awareness of nature. I believe it is important to experience, not just as a way to enlighten the body and mind but also to increase appreciation of nature as well.

In the documentary, a main focus was that plants actually interacted with their environment, not so different from how animals interact with their environment. This brings life into the static living things that we usually don't see as active participants in the environment. it was very interesting to see the things that JC Cahill did in the University of Alberta. Showing that plants can interact is not essentially different and hard to understand, it is just something most people don't think about. Also the documentary showed how plants had to survive harsh conditions to thrive, and this hardiness present in plants contributes to the beauty in nature, and further improves my appreciation of nature and natural systems.

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