Taking a walk through the woods is more than looking at pretty trees and catching a glimpse of a song bird. It's a learning experience. All you have to do is look and ponder about what you are looking at.
No, you don't have to stare. You don't have to think until smoke billows out your ears. You just have to take twenty seconds and run with the first thought that comes to your mind.
Take my twenty second snapshot below. Ants swarmed on the forest floor in preparation to start a new colony somewhere else. I don't know how some ants decide their home is too small and they need to find a new one. I don't know what triggers some ants to grow wings so they can leave while others choose to stay and remain wingless. I don't know how the ones with wings decide when to take flight and the others know to follow. I don't know what all the crawling by the winged and wingless ones is all about.
"No, please don't leave like this."
"I gotta get outta this place. Mom is just too controlling."
"But she's the Queen. It's her job to bring order to the colony."
"She's more like a drama queen. I need my space."
"No...please stay! I need you."
"Too many ants around here. I need my freedom. I'll be back some day."
Ok, so ants don't communicate that way. What I did ponder was the apparent randomness of the movements of the ants swarming, yet the randomness leads to order and purpose.
I'm pretty sure ants only have a handful of brain cells compared to my brain, but watch their movements closely. The scene isn't as random as it looks at first glance. Individually, each ant, with its handful of brain cells, appears to know what it's doing. Collectively, the entire swarm appears to know what it's doing as if the swarm, itself, is an individual entity whose "brain" is comprised of each individual ant.
I walked away from the swarming ants wondering if randomness and chaos truly exist or is randomness and chaos simply my inability to comprehend the "bigger picture." No, I don't have an answer, but the swarming ants expanded how I think and view the world. That's called learning.
For your viewing pleasure...
(Bonus points if you can identify at least two of the animals you'll hear)
Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks