Nature’s enthralling beauty includes the way the sky appears when the sun is rising or setting and how ethereal it looks outside after an afternoon rain shower , which are all examples of daily/common treasures that should not be taken for granted. The way the orange, blue and pink hues in the sky blends together as the sun rises or sets is a (thankfully) re-occurring unparalleled sight to see. Perhaps it is easy to become comfortable with natural scenic views like this as we go about our daily lives, but there is also a refreshing & uplifting inspirational feeling we can receive from nature’s beautiful art. If something is heavy on our minds or we’ve encountered a lot of negativity within a day, sometimes we can find inspiration in daily gifts that are not always in human form. It is even scientifically proven that taking a walk in nature is therapeutic and good for our well being. I encourage us all to continue to remain purely fascinated with life’s natural treasures because it is a healthy & positive perspective to have throughout life. We all find happiness and joy in different things depending on what speaks to our souls/and passions. Here are a few examples of nature’s art photographed by me throughout different years & changing seasons that makes me smile and thankful…I hope you find beauty in them too!
Photo taken back in summer 2012. I saved this because it was very beautiful to me! Especially looking above at it, I nicknamed the photo ”Wheel in the Sky Keeps on Turning’ from a Journey song. The song’s lyrics do not actually correlate with the photo precisely, but the title of the song seemed befitting to me and sometimes I also interchangeably nickname this photo as : The ‘Will’ in the Sky Keeps on Turning (”Will” meaning inevitable events and creations from a higher power/God.
Photo taken on a snowy day in December 2017. I loved the tree’s aesthetic. It’s so interesting how many trees have been here way longer than us and have been present throughout many different happenings and lives as they come & go. This tree, like others, goes through many drastic changes within a year but it is beautiful no matter the season.
Photo taken in 2018. Whenever I am walking somewhere, I like photographing the beautiful flowers that I see planted. Unfortunately, I’ve procrastinated in the past when it comes to planting more of my own flowers, but this spring I am looking forward to actually growing more flowers and doing a little garden work with my mother. Photos like this gives me inspiration and they are so pretty!
Photo taken in Piedmont Park in 2018. I am so appreciative of scenic views in parks. One of my favorite things to do is go to parks & preserves. There are so many activities I can do there. Just walk and take in all of nature’s aesthetics, have an outdoor lunch on the grass with my Dory from Finding Nemo plush blanket underneath, look at the sun setting or rising, go for a bicycle ride, watch the ducks & other animal sightings, enjoy live music, exercise, paint, pet people’s dogs if they let me, take photos like this, whatever. The list goes on and on!
Photo taken in December 2017. This photo (taken with an iPhone) made me decide to invest in a dslr camera instead of taking photos with a phone all of the time. I love astronomy and although I see mesmerizing views with my eyes and a telescope, I really want to start capturing beautiful views like this in better quality. Night time astronomy photography calls for dslr camera quality, and since I’m passionate about astronomy, I’ve been working on my photography more with a different camera. But still, I love & cherish these i-phone shots and I remember looking at it, thinking: ”This is so cool to me”…one of the moments in life that makes me happy.
I encourage us all to never forget the so-called ‘simple’ yet amazing gifts that are a part of nature in this world…it is really all around us. Of course, humans value material things to a certain extent, but let’s not get so focused on just solely these things and forget the priceless treasures that are among us daily.
”To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles”- Mary Davis
Su Blackwell artwork from series ”Dwelling”
When we were children, many of us asked our parents a thousand questions a day, genuinely eager to learn more & curious about what is around us. When there are trips to science museums or book club days at elementary schools, many children enthusiastically look forward to these simple yet amazing delights. The reason why I still visit public libraries for personal interest is because I love what I’ve found there growing up, and it has influenced me greatly. It started with my mother taking me to the public library often, & within the children’s section I was introduced to books like The Magic School Bus: Lost in The Solar System and Here in Space by David Milgrim. I believe educational books like these helped me become fascinated with astronomy & complex matters relating to space and time. Presently, I love books such as Space Atlas: Mapping The Universe & Beyond, Final Frontier by Brian Clegg, and physicist Michio Kauku’s books because they are amazing to me. Captivating books like the ones mentioned inspires me to ask even more questions due to passionate curiosity, & think of all the endless possibilities that have yet to be discovered. Unfortunately, often times a child’s curiosity and eagerness to extensively explore a variety of different subject matters can decrease. Many blame school systems’ educational curriculum, but learning is a process that never really ends. Of course, we may not find all of the truths of life and answers to questions that are surrounded in mystery…but there are valuable sources available to us for a variety of different topics if we are genuinely interested. I encourage us all to continue having a curious child-like fascination and to inquire more. Our whole lives are an educational opportunity, and it should not be limited. Let’s keep going to our city’s museums, supporting our libraries that are sometimes in threat of closing, reading daily, and exploring different topics beyond just the surface. As children, we are so eager to learn more and even what is considered ”simple” makes us want to discover why/how. So, as we continue on our educational journey (life)… let’s keep that same pure fascination/interest!
Some people may not care to emphasize how important preserving the bee population is…until one day we have no choice but to rely on artificially created bees to pollinate plants. Nothing man makes can work as hard or be as nutritious like a honeybee or solitary bee, but scientists are trying to come up with an alternative if the worst case scenario happens. Recently at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology, there has been researchers who are creating drones that can possibly polinate flowers. Instead of focusing on creating insect drones, perhaps it is better to invest in helping the bee population grow and let them thrive without pesticides that harm them.
Education/knowledge on the issue is a great key for all of us. This process affects all of us, so why not learn and genuinely care about it more? Most of our healthy foods are pollinated by bees when they move from plant to plant for nectar. Pollen gets all over their bodies, and with cross pollination the bees are a vital necessity for plants’ seed making process. The Honey Bee species then takes the sweet nectar back to their beehives/colony, while solitary bees do not live in colonies, and they just travel from flower to flower collecting pollen. The bees work hard, and for Honeybees in particular, the honey they create gives them energy and other health benefits that are important for us as well. If more bees continue to consume neonicotinoids (pesticides) that cover many plants and the nectar, then precious bees will die off until they are officially an extinct species. If these solitary and honeybees go extinct, then we can say goodbye to healthy foods like apples, mangoes, peaches, plums, berries, watermelon, peppers, green beans, cabbage, broccoli, avocados, coconut, and the list goes on and on. Artificially created pollinators will not provide us with the same nutrients that bees do. So instead of researching ways to live on without the Bee, it is better to focus on how we can grow and responsibly take care of the populations. Banning neonicotinoids is crucial, and how interesting it is that some of the deadly pesticides that are allowed in America is banned in a lot of other countries. Although magazines like Time has created issues focusing on the dying bee population, our media in America does not continuously focus on these types of issues in an in-depth matter. Yet, if our little blessings like bees’ are taken away from us…everyone will be forced to pay attention. However, it will be too late. Right now, in the present, it is not. Let’s not forget that the resources from nature we continuously use & exhaust are vital to our survival, but nature does not need us to survive or thrive. Preserving and growing the Bee population is not just a eco-conscious concern to occasionally reflect on, but it is a matter that correlates with our own survival and existence.
****For more information and great ways to help & learn more about the importance of Bees ,Bee Native.org, The Honey Bee Conservancy, & The Bee Cause Project are wonderful resources****
Perhaps, in less than ten years, people will get a chance to live on planet Mars and eventually create a sustainable civilization there. Elon Musk, president of Tesla Motors, has been interested in colonizing Mars for awhile. Space Exploration Technologies Corporation was founded by Musk in 2002 and 14 years later, he announced at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico his plan to send humans to colonize Mars with his future Interplanetary Transport System spaceship-rocket. Residing/moving to other planets is a science fiction dream that is possible, especially with our constant advancing aerospace technology. Of course, this fascinating news has its pros and cons. Musk also explained that the very first colonists (he does not recommend children of course) who are brave enough to try & reside on Mars should understand it will be a dangerous first journey and be prepared to die…if it comes to that. This possibility may terrify many people, but there are some who are willing to be a part of the “trial and error” phase of a new settlement/colony in a foreign world, while most would prefer to go after everything has been figured out and deemed ‘safe”. The Universe, as expansive as it is with all of the galaxies out there, humanity should be curious to know where else could life forms and sustainable living exist. One of the interesting things to ponder is that out of all the countless planets in our Universe, there are probably other forms of life that look alot like us and/or beings that differ quite alot in physical appearance and biology depending on the planet. Worlds with features/climates that are probably breathtaking and amazing. Colonizing Mars would be the beginning of a future that brings a new age to our civilization and space travel. Of course, let’s just make sure we do not get to travel to new worlds, planets located in different galaxies and do a “Avatar” like mission, which has been done before throughout history within our own world. Nevertheless, I have faith in humanity responsibly visiting and inhabiting livable planets in our galaxy and beyond. The process will be controversial, trying, costly, and with error…but may be a astronomical phenomenon that is both exciting & will change the course of science and humanity, perhaps sooner than later.
Machiavellianism, introduced in the Niccolo Machiavelli book The Prince, is a term that does not just apply to the Dark Triad subject in applied psychology. Machiavelli’s philosophies in The Prince included the belief that it is okay to use immoral/foul means such as manipulation & showing a disregard for morality in relation to personal gain and self interest. Some people argue that Machiavelli’s acceptance of immoral actions was due to the fact that he lived during a time in Rome when political conflicts and success through criminal actions were common among it’s leaders. However, this time period is not the only era where immoral actions have been common in society. As long as societies have existed, baleful actions have been used throughout history for different reasons…not just among princes vying for power. Unfortunately, it is accepted and a normal/common practice for societies to manipulate and commit evil doings toward others for their own personal gain/self interest in our world. Many people have developed a “that’s just the way it is” perspective on this detrimental behavior because it has been universally prevalent throughout our timeline so far. Therefore, Machiavelli’s philosophies are not just historic political science lessons that reflect the world he knew…but it also can be used to compare what is now, the present. It has gotten to the point where we question & categorize just what is immoral and moral depending on a society/culture’s accepted practices. I may be speaking from a bias point of view because I believe in not perfection, but at least trying our best to be morally upright and emphasizing virtue & genuine goodness. However, no matter what different ethical/moral philosophies exist, Machiavelli’s The Prince should have been a reference for what to avoid, but it now seems as if it is a repeated pattern that does not just apply to old Rome’s royal hierarchies or a personality test. Nevertheless, since the future is not yet written and the present is still unfolding, there is no universal rule that implies history has to keep repeating itself. Yet, even though we are one humanity, we are also individuals who do not share the same mentalities and belief system when it comes to virtue and morality. ..perhaps that is why treatises like The Prince and Machiavellianism seems to have been a relevant philosophy for a very long time.
Astronomy is very interesting and fascinating to learn about. This book, created by the renowned physicist & veteran science writer James Trefil, is full of superb imagery that was captured from the most progressive space missions ever. I mean, this book has some of the best photos that were ever taken, which details the whole universe. This adventurous book starts with our solar system, then into the stars of the Milky Way, and then beyond into the outer reaches of the cosmos. The mind blowing pics includes: nebulas, galaxy Centaurus A with a massive black hole at it’s heart), comets, and so much more. Of course, this book is not just a picture book…it is pretty big & holds information about the history of the universe & time line of breakthroughs in astronomical studies. There is very detailed information on planets & never before published maps. This book has over 300 pages with current info about our solar system, galaxy, universe, exoplanets, dark matter, and so much more. I’ve had this book for several months now, and this is actually my third time reading it. So, if you are a astronomy enthusiast like myself or interested in learning more about this science, then I’m pretty sure you would love this book if you have not already read it.
I have an intense fascination with black holes & learning about the many wonders of our universe. Black holes are so interesting because inside one (singularity) , it has zero point in size & infinite density. Let’s just ponder on that & actually think about what this means. Light cannot escape it & it’s gravitational pull is so strong & the event horizon (the place where escape is not possible) cannot be seen locally. I think that black holes are related to time travel, but we just have to get close enough to the Event Horizon without getting swallowed. This documentary discusses the largest black holes in the universe & our milky way may have millions of black holes. Now, this documentary may seem ”scary” to some, but I don’t fear black holes. Yes, there are some that are extremely large & may be destructive…but black holes are amazing.