- Education and Science»
- Geography, Nature & Weather
Some of the Greatest Pollinators on Earth
In the Beginning
Those of you that have read my material know how I feel about the beauty of nature. To me, it is the most exciting thing that I can imagine, being out of doors, taking in the sweet smells of spring. In Oklahoma, it pleases me to be at nearby Boomer Lake, and it is intensified when the city mows, for then there is that wonderful aroma of onion grass gently wafting in the breeze. The wind, the sun, even the clouds all remind me of an irreplaceable time that I never take for granted. None of us can take it for granted, because without our natural surroundings, there would be no creatures, the earth would be barren.
Pollination is a Large Part of Life as We Know It
Pollination is integral to the survival of the earth as we know it. It is done by nearly every living creature, including us, when we brush up against a plant or flower during spring, then come in contact with another one when we take a walk in the woods, or anywhere else where there are other flora. Bees, birds, ants, bats and other animals do this in order to get food(nectar), and in so doing, help us to have fruits and vegetables in our gardens, allow public places like Longwood Gardens in Longwood, PA, to exist as a business, and give us our wonderful forests and wildflowers that we might see in the medians of our highways and byways.
And thus, life goes on. So many beautiful and wonderful plants, trees, flowers and shrubs, just to name a few items that we are able to have due to the simple wonder of pollination. Wind pollination is most likely the fastest way to get seeds into the air, but it cannot travel as far as an animal or bird can take it. Why, birds can travel a number of miles before they might excrete the seeds from the fruit or berries that they ate, and by the time that they are hungry again, they could come in contact with a future bud's flower on a tree and the process begins once again.
Ants Aren't Just Pests
There are a couple of ants that were searching for nectar in this gorgeous wildflower. Innocent enough, yes? In seeking sustenance, they are also paying a visit to the male anthers and the female stigma, the plant reproductive structures. Then, when they go on to another plant, they'll pollinate more and more, so a dual purpose is served here: they are eating and propagating flowers. That's what excites me so much about nature. It is a circle of life, a necessary one.
Bugs Have Their Uses
If you look at this seed plant at approximately 1 o'clock, there's a little green bug. Once this bug leaves the seeds, he will carry this plant somewhere else to grow. Some of the tiniest insects that we take for granted also do their share in pollination. They can't travel as far as a winged animal, but they can move seeds and generate reproduction locally, which is the largest part of propagation. If we consider why so many plants and flowers are naturally in one area of the country, this is the biggest reason why, due to climate and rainfall.
Learn About Nature the Unbiased Way
- National Geographic Magazine
The online home of National Geographic Magazine. Resource for photography, research, updates, news, global issues, geography, maps, and video.
Your thirst for knowledge can be satiated with a number of wonderful sources. I, for one, happen to favor the approach of National Geographic Magazine. They portray material in easy-to-understand language, and will certainly answer any questions that you might have, or even raise a few with their articles. Not only that, the photography is some of the most exemplary that I have ever seen.
Birds As Pollinators
Here's a great pollinator, the Warbling Vireo. These birds are more often seen than heard, so this was a fortunate circumstance to be in the right place at the right time. They winter in Mexico and Central America, and during the summer, some of them will make it to the Northwest Territories in Canada. They are terrific pollinators and as you can see from their wide range, they are very useful for this line of work, too.
Honey Bees Are Made For This Work
These are also one of the most important pollinators that can probably pollinate faster than any other living creature. They are fuzzy and carry an electrostatic charge, both of which are very helpful in quickly moving pollen. A honey bee that is deliberately gathering pollen is up to 10 times more efficient as a pollinator primarily gathering nectar and unintentionally transferring pollen. Declines in health and population of pollinators pose what is likely a very substantial threat to biodiversity, human health, and global food webs. At least 80% of the world's crops require pollination for the purposes of seeding. It is estimated that one out of every three bites of food comes to us via the work of animal pollinators, and that, thank you very much, happens to be free of charge.
What We Are Losing
I now wish to state my opinion on this life as we know it. The more that Big Oil takes what it deems necessary to make multi-billion dollar profits, the less natural environment we have for our plants and wildlife. Fracking also tears up the countryside, and that I can vouch for in PA where I spent a year of my life. Granted, those that have land where Big Business seeks a piece get free gas rights for the rest of their lives, BUT that land will take hundreds of years to become useful for nature once again. I was told that the average life of a gas well is seven years, but compare that to hundreds of years. To me, it is no contest, or at best, very unfairly stacked.
This is why our animals are becoming extinct and endangered, all because of the human way of life. Ever wonder why so few advances are being made with alternative energy? It has to do with multi-billion dollar profits.
We all have the Power of One. The more that we talk to our friends and neighbors, the less hold big business has. Here's an example. It is much more affordable now to have organic food. If we don't have the luxury of the land to raise it, the more we buy, the less expensive it becomes. I have been drinking organic milk, and for almost the same price, I get better quality and better tasting milk.
Let me leave you with one final thing. Take a look at this beautiful and mind-opening video. With all the words that I have written here, this video says the same thing in four minutes. Take a look at it, and revel in nature as I did, like so many other people are doing. I guarantee that it is worth the time that you will spend on it and you will be smiling and in awe as I was. My pictures don't hold a candle to it.
The Beauty of Pollination
Please Pass My Message On
Please everybody, remember the Power of One. For every one of us that this message reaches, we get closer to saving our environment before it is too late and there are no more plants to pollinate because we gave in to others.