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Life Is a Jungle?

Fresh out of the Costa Rican rainforest, I have a new take on the idea that life is a jungle.

I'm now seeing it as a positive. Jungles (a word I use pretty much interchangeably with rainforest) are full of extravagant, gorgeous life. Plants in the tropical rainforest grow enormous in the effort to catch all the filtered light they can. Animals devise ingenious strategies to attract what they need and to protect themselves. There's so much symbiosis going on that it seems teamwork is as characteristic as competition.

I think the jungle sets us a bold example: Grow big leaves. Reach high. Make imaginative use of the conditions at hand.

 Sloth grows algae in its hair, which gives a home base and water supply to the green stuff and helps camoflage the big guy."

Big leaves catch light (Si Como No, Quepos)

One species of frog lays one egg in each orange pod — to prevent sibling rivalry and keep the tadpoles safe from each other.



Under each of these green tidbits is a leafcutter ant, carrying an immense load.    These ants use the leaf bits for underground farming inside their huge anthills.    The colony has a clear division of labor.  In addition to these leafbearers, there is a caste of these ants that carries poop out of the hill and dumps it (which makes for very rich dirt.)  I saw some of those workers, but they were less photogenic.)

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Categories: enhancing creativity

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  • November 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm Reply

    Greetings Peggy, These are beautiful shots. Perhaps God put the desire in the tiny mind of an ant to want to live in a clean house or dwelling place. Unless they are just bored with God's magnificent beauty all around them like the rest of us get sometimes from having it all. (Writing with only myself in mind and no one else of course!) 
    Have you thought of submitting to the National Geographic Magazine? Just a thought. And the frog shot would make a great children's story or book don't you think?! Never seen or heard of THAT before myself…

    • November 22, 2011 at 9:12 am Reply

      I’d like to know what goes on in the mind of ants. And in the minds of our dogs. I do think there are children’s book possibilities with these ants and these frogs.

  • November 22, 2011 at 11:30 am Reply

    Greetings Peggy, I don't know a lot about ants but I have written, touched on the mind of dogs–kinda–sorta. When I lived in Noho, Northampton, I worked for four dogs and their owners and all kinds of jobs to support my writing habit–Five jobs to be exact. I hope to send you that to read next.
    If I were you, I'd sit down and think, pray and see what comes to mind in the way of children's book possibilities with your journey. Keep it pure & simple & short & sweet and at an 8th grade or less reading level. From where I see it, you are truly blessed with opportunities to get your voice, ideas heard.
    If there is one thing your not that's mundane. And neither are the ants–busy and all like they are–kinda OCD too–maybe?! Hey, you could pen an ant like the purple Barney fellow with a frog as its best friend ~ Take care, Eileen

    • November 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm Reply

      Good ideas, Eileen! And I do like the idea of working for dogs.

  • Margaret Anderson
    November 24, 2011 at 4:17 pm Reply

    Hi Peggy,
    Thanks for sharing your photos. That must have been a good trip.  I would like to go there someday.
    Hope you got the Doe Branch photos I sent–via e-mail.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Margaret Anderson

    • November 28, 2011 at 10:41 am Reply

      Thanks for the pics, Margaret. Very nice. TG good here. I hope yours was. And I have still more to post about Costa Rica. Fascinating place.

  • November 28, 2011 at 6:02 pm Reply

    Great pix!!  Best sloth pix I've ever seen–I think i heard they also host a particular butterfly on/in their fur which only propagates There.  Maybe a non-urban myth?  I look forward to seeing more/ the rest a' yr CR adventure.
    Seems to me human life does happen in the jungle/rain forest, along w/ the other animals,plants, fish & birds.  The jungle seems to me, neutral re who & how survives &/or thrives, tho' folks do tend to act as if it's either dangerous or benign.  I believe it's all three,  paradox intended.
     No one gets out alive, so the sentence is death.  What we do with that/make of it depends a lot on framing/ regulating our internal experience & on allowing/arranging enough positive intimacy with a few carfuly chosen, trustworthy folks to make it all worthwhile. 
    Perhap ideally: to learn what we can & use it well each successiuve next time, to develop & fulfill our potentials & help others to do so , to manage as comfortable as we can, to enjoy all we can while practicing radical acceptance, compassion, forgiveness, & deep belly laughter at the absurdity of it all?  Nuff!  Aiki

    • November 29, 2011 at 9:04 am Reply

      I agree: it’s neutral. Like kundalini. And a lot is in our control in framing, reacting, and managing.

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