Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Nature is the Best Teacher and Sentinel

Towards the Culture of Naturalism
Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Melly C Tenorio
738 KHz DZRB AM Band, Monday to Friday, 8 to 9 evening

Monsoon rains may last for 18 consecutive days, hence the term
siyam-siyam, from which Masagana 99 rice program was coined.
 Cumulus cloud in the morning may develop into nimbus that 
brings rain in the afternoon. 
Let's recognize Nature as the best teacher.

Read Nature. You will enjoy life, live healthier and longer. You'll gain more friends and respect from people.

Above all, you will be at peace with yourself and with your environment.

Here are some biological signs to watch. They are Nature's barometer, so to speak; Nature's clock, Nature's way of communicating with the living world.

1. Sprouting of tubers of potato, corm of gabi, bulbs of onion while in storage is an indication they have surpassed their dormancy.  So with kamote (sweet potato) and sinkamas (yam). It means the dry season is over, the monsoon has begun.  The air is now humid, the atmosphere rarefield, breeze brings in freshness to nourish the awakening buds.  Soon they will sprout aggressively sustained initially by stored food as source of energy and nutrition. Take advantage of Nature's call.  It's time to plant them.  We call these planting materials as propagules - nature's bridge to the new generation. 

2. Profuse fruiting of kapok or cotton tree.  Farmers tell us the coming rice crop will be poor. Those dangling pods of the cotton tree are the noose of hunger, exaggeratingly speaking from their own stories. Well, the explanation lies on the fact that this species of tree does not have deep penetrating roots, instead spreading secondary roots that depend on the upper layer of the soil. At the onset of drought, the tree senses a regime of low water supply. Nature's signal is in the tree's early and profuse flowering and consequent production of seeds. Next time you see kapok trees in summer - which is their fruiting season - be keen on Nature's message. And think of the industrious ant in Aesop fable storing food while his friend the grasshopper simply didn't care for the future.         

3. Rain - Dragonflies hovering; aggressive biting of mosquitoes; ants move to another place carrying their young and provisions. The latter predicts heavy continuous rainfall or siyam-siyam or nep-nep. Herons on the move heralds the monsoon.

4. Monsoon – Frogs croak; insects (termite, ants) swarm; lightning and thunder get frequent; first heavy rain in May vegetates the landscape, thus turning from brown to green. It comes early or late, but usually in later part of May. Global warming has brought unpredictable signs indicating that our climate is changing.

5. Drought – Occurs in summer; landscape scorched; dry river beds and ponds; brush fires occurs; lake water recedes; crack on earth, especially areas under water in monsoon; worst scenario - flowering of bamboo usually during El Nino, a phenomenon that happens every 7 to 10 years.

6. Pristine Environment – Abundance of lichens on trunks and branches of trees, rocks, and soil. There are three types: crustose (crust), foliose (leaf-like) and fruticose (fruiting type). They are biological indicators of clean air. The ultimate test is the abundance of the fruticose type.
7. Red and gray sunsets are signs it’s going to rain.  And maybe a  coming storm.
Halo around moon; gray and red sunset; a storm may be coming depending upon the intensity of these signs. Here is a verse about this belief.

“If the sun in red should set,
The next day surely will be wet;
If the sun should set in gray,
The next will be a rainy day.”

High relative humidity builds clouds.  Suspended water vapors reflect the rays of the setting sun red and crimson in many shades and hues, while the cloud form an overcast of gray.
Animals and fish in captivity are restless before the coming of an earthquake.  

8. Earthquake – Farm animals restless; horses kick and neigh; pigs snort; fowls abandon usual roost; turkey cackle; cattle seek exit from corral; dogs howl; and the like. Wild animals abandon abode – snakes come out into the open; reptile keep out of the water; elephants defy their master’s command; birds abandon nest, other emigrate.

9. Typhoon – Doldrums-like calm; uneasiness to both humans and animals as barometer reading drops which means atmospheric pressure goes down; arthritis and hypertension symptoms are felt by sensitive persons. As typhoon approaches, sea becomes rough; sky overcast; clouds move fast to one direction; gusts of cold and warm wind, thunderstorms.
Earthworm excrement in mounds cast long shadows at sunrise at UST, Manila. 
The occupant of the burrow can tell of suspension of classes ahead of time.   

10.  When earthworms crawl out of their burrows, a flood is coming.
This subterranean annelid has built-in sensors, a biblical Noah’s sense of a coming flood, so to speak.  Its small brain is connected to clusters of nerve cells, called ganglia, running down the whole body length.  These in turn are connected to numerous hair-like protrusions on the cuticle, which serve as receptor. When rain saturates the soil, ground water rises and before it reaches their burrows, they crawl out to higher grounds where they seek refuge until the flood or the rainy season is over. The more earthworms abandoning their burrows, the more we should take precaution.

11.  Raining while the sun is out breeds insects.
Now and then we experience simultaneous rain and sunshine, and may find ourselves walking under an arch of rainbow, a romantic scene reminiscent of the movie and song, Singing in the Rain.  Old folks would rather grim with a kind of sadness on their faces, for they believe that such condition breeds caterpillars and other vermin that destroy their crops. 

What could be the explanation to this belief? Thunderstorm is likely the kind of rain old folks are referring to.  Warmth plus moisture is vital to egg incubation, and activation of aestivating insects, fungi, bacteria and the like. In a few days, they come out in search of food and hosts. Armyworms and cutworms (Spodoptera and Prodina), named after their huge numbers and voracious eating habit, are among these uninvited guests 

The moon is unusually clear at the peak of summer.

12. Ripening of Fruits – Generally from green to yellow to orange (banana, orange, apple, etc. Determined by smell: guava, jackfruit, durian, melon, etc); shiny rind (caimito, siniguelas). Dull skin (chico), enlarged ridges and furrows (atis, guayabano, anonas)

Can you read other signs?

1. Sweetness/sourness of fruit
2. Maturity and succulence of vegetables (okra, cucumber)
3. Tenderness of nut (buko, macapuno)
4. Sweetness and maturity of fruit (watermelon)
5. Time to harvest singkamas, onions, garlic, sugar beet
6. Presence of jellyfish
7. Red tide season
8. Coming flood (earthworm abandon their burrows.)
9. Time to harvest palay, corn, wheat.
10. Slippery walkway (presence of algae and scum)
11. Depth of water (by color, sound of oar, current, clarity)
12. Cloud reading of weather.
13. Glassy eyes (deep feelings like hatred, or “wala sa sarili”)
14. Wrinkles at the corner of eyes (happy disposition)
15. Furrows on forehead (problematic)
16. Rough hand (worker, also athlete)
17. Brilliant and attentive eyes (intelligence)
18. Clumsiness, strumming (nervous, uncertain)
19. Heavy feet (angry, lazy)
20. Tight jaw (angry, restlessly active)

Open Forum:
1. How reliable is “gut feel
2. How about ESP?
3. What is “aura?” How does it apply to relationships?
4. What is Biological Clock? Name how it affects your life.
5. Life starts at 40 – how do you interpret this?
6. What are prophets to you? Are there people who can see the future? Do you believe in Nostrodamus?
7. Are dreams hidden motives, indirect messages, prophesies?
8. How superstitious are you? Do you practice superstition?
9. Do you think you were once living on earth in another being or living thing, in another time and place? Do you believe re-incarnation?
10. How fatalistic are you – you are predestined even before you were born?
 Influenza – Precipitated by alternate cold and hot weather, thunderstorms, abrupt change in season. Influenza season is usually at the onset of amihan as the habagat comes to an end. Practical signs: people coughing in church and other gatherings; sale of cold tablets and antibiotics is up; hospitals full. Epidemic starts in the family, neighborhood, local community; also, in schools, malls and markets, and may spread to cover a city or district or province. Modern transportation has made spread of flu easier and wider.
Please share us your knowledge and experiences. Learn more from Nature - she is the best teacher. ~

No comments: