Minnows dart for cover under the bank as I walk up to the spring. The small pool where I dip for water is covered with dancing water striders, which seem to skate over the top of the dark, still water.
In a small inlet along the bank, a dozen hyper little water beetles also do their water dance -leaving tiny round ripples on the calm surface as they dash around each other within a square foot.
A startled bullfrog leaps up under my foot and lands squarely in the middle of the creek. He dives straight to the bottom and settles there, motionless. The water is as clear as glass, so I get a god look at him even though he's in two feet under.
This time of year, when the weather is hot and dry, I may dip into the creek to get water for my plants several times a day. Each time I approach the creek, I search for any forms of life near, on or in the water. Foot per foot, a small stream has the most diverse populations of plants, animals and insects of any environment. Every day I am grateful to have one of these small country streams so near to me. How could I ever do anything to upset such a wonderful ecosystem?Now more than any time before, it's important that we look at how our lives are affecting the natural world. We can't wait for the majority to make the first move. Changes will come about only if we change our own lives.
I am deeply saddened by reports of how ocean fish populations are disappearing. Only 10-20 percent of the world's commercial fish stocks remain. The loss of only one species may have a direct effect on many others and eventually affect all.
The earth is losing species at the rate of thousands - maybe as many as 30,000 - per year, because of the actions of humans. We urgently need more compassion in our lives for the real world, the natural world. We as individuals can make some changes now that can make our own lives healthier and happier. If we simply allow nature into our lives a little each day, we will learn how to respect the natural earth that we belong to.
Eating a health diet can make you more aware. By eating organically, you not only help ensure your own health, but the health of the land as well. Conscious food choices can support your dedication to a clean, healthy environment.
Growing along the stream are tall, seedy stalks of reed canary grass. Here dragonflies and damselflies perch, high above the babbling water. Chartreuse bushes of touch-me-nots also border the banks. Their pretty orange flowers attract buzzing honeybees and bumble bees, as well as beautiful yellow swallow-tailed butterflies. Two busy hummingbirds also take advantage of the sweet nectar. The pair quickly moves from blossom to blossom. Hummingbirds enjoy nature's diversity by feeding from the scores of different flowers that give them the energy to move their little wings so fast.
If all the earth could be as healthy as this little stream, we would all benefit. After all, the paths of all life should lead down nature's trail.
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