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How Nature Works to Keep Things Moving Along

 
gardener
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Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Most People know that the earth is in a warming cycle today.
There are many that don’t want to face the reality of the effects Global Warming is creating as well as there are many who want to do something, they just don’t know how or they don’t have the resources to do something.
When you get down to “Ok, Global Warming is real and it is here” then we might be able to reduce the effects of human activities that helped the earth mother get to this point faster than science thought it would arrive
(back in the 1950’s it was known that it was coming but it arrived about 100 years earlier than the scientists of the period had calculated).

Science is trying to get people to do the things required to reduce the effects upon the earth, it is looking more and more like the efforts are going to fall in the “too little, too late” category.
Much of the lack of action is led by Governments that are more interested in profits and taxes than in saving the planet that gives all life.
Sadly, it requires all Nations to be involved at the same time for the current plan to have a chance of working, and that, so far, hasn’t come to even half of the nations of the planet participating.  
Our chances are dependent upon this occurring.
Now that we know the ugly, let’s take a look at how Nature is actually pushing the planet towards global warming so we can get into how a mass of individuals working towards this goal of slowing the events can succeed in such a lofty goal.

Nature tends to nurture along things that are already in progress.
This means that if you get a soil growing microorganisms, nature wants to keep adding numbers of those life forms.
Nature will even do things like rain, wind and even draught, which all have effects upon the microbiome in the soil along with plants above ground parts and even seed germination.
Nature works with the idea of having any event happening becoming self - perpetuating.

Let us take a look at Nature and how it really works, we will start with forest fires, since there have been several in the last 25 months that were studied in depth while they were burning thousands of acres.
The latest large fire event, the “Camp Fire”, fire in northern California.
This fire started off with a roar, burning up over 50 thousand acres in the first day and it spread at 35 mph until it ran into the up slope of the mountain where it sped up to around 60 mph.
This fire wiped out at least 3 towns and was so intense, fire fighters couldn’t do much except to try and get people out of the way of the fire.
The winds fed the fire from the south side which pushed it faster and faster up the mountain side and it spread, well, like wild fire.
Fire is actually a good example of Nature perpetuating life.
The fire starts and if there is wind, the fire spreads up wind, if the fire isn’t large, it can be controlled fairly quickly.
If the fire “blows up” because of high winds, the longer it burns, the harder it is to be able to get it under control.
The fire will keep growing and jumping forward as it gets larger and temperatures get higher.
The Camp Fire was measured at 2700 degrees f right after it finished destroying Paradise California, steel melts at 2600 degrees f.

There are several mechanisms that nature uses when a fire like that occurs.
First is the need for air, if the fire isn’t well developed air will enter the fire from all directions and this keeps the fire from organizing.
Once a fire reaches that point where air cannot enter from the sides, the flames will rise higher and the heat intensifies, since air can’t enter from the sides it begins to enter from the bottom, this creates up lift,
and if the fire is heading up the side of a mountain the air rushes in from the low side and that pushes the fire uphill and since air speeds up as it gets heated and it also speeds up as it moves uphill,
the wind speed increases and the flames shoot higher and higher and then something really wild happens.
Wind speeding up and flames reaching higher starts a slow rotation of the rising air, if the external wind starts swirling the combination can form a fire tornado, this is just like a regular tornado except that it adds heat, flames and glowing embers.
These embers (fire brands) can be blown over a mile ahead of the actual fire, causing “spot fires” to form add that to all the heat drying out the fuel trees ahead of the actual fire and we have a fire creating more fuel ready to burn.
At this point the fire is self-sustaining and it will be very difficult to get under control.
Speed of the fire event also picks up, in the case of the Camp Fire the second day 3 towns were leveled as they turned to ash.

So how does this relate to Nature and how she works?
Well it is one example of how nature works to make things self-perpetuating.
Another good example is a Red Tide, when the water gets warm enough the red algae starts reproducing faster and that depletes the oxygen in the surface layer of the ocean, which takes oxygen away from the sea creatures causing them to die by asphyxiation.
These dead creatures wash up on shore and begin to rot, if there is any wind heading towards the water, any spores from the algae present on the corpses will become airborne,
these fall out of the air stream and hit the water where they come to life and begin to reproduce, adding to the size of the red tide.
This sequence will continue until something changes the “perfect conditions” at which point the algae begin to die back and eventually the red tide is over.
If the conditions remain the same and an off shore wind begins, the algae will be spread over a larger area, more animals die from lack of Oxygen and the cycle continues creating a larger and larger area of destruction.  
If we look at thunder storms, again we see a set of conditions that have to be met for the clouds to become thunder heads.
When we study these, we find out that the conditions for a “super storm” are very similar to those that create a “Super fire” or a “Red Tide”, all can, if those just right conditions continue, become “super” events.
The deeper the earth gets into the cycle of “global warming” the more frequently the conditions become “just right”.
So, nature capitalizes on any cycle that can grow because of the warmth of the upper atmosphere.

Each of the above events not only caused destruction and or loss of life forms but they also add heavy amounts of carbon, in the form of CO2 and sometimes even CO3 and CO.
The outcome is that the upper atmosphere continues to heat and that makes changes in the weather patterns we experience at ground level or sea level.
On land, we can sometimes see major thunder storms develop straight line winds in velocities over 100 mph, these strong winds can and do blow down complete sections of forest,
if the ground is already saturated by rain from the storm, the forest is likely to become a pit and mound area with every tree knocked over,
lifting the root ball and spreading the soil from the deep roots up to the surface, the pit will gather in leaves, rocks and other storm debris which then begins to decay and eventually the pit formed by the downed tree fills in with high organic matter containing soil.
The soil microbiome will grow because of the high organic matter and as the microorganisms go about eating and reproducing they give off CO2, since all the trees in that area are now laying on the ground, dying or already dead,
there aren’t enough plants to suck up all that CO2 and much of it escapes to the upper atmosphere where the new additions continue the current global warming event.

We know that Nature loves order, but she also loves chaos.
Order means healthy reproduction and growth.
Chaos means new opportunities brought about by death of the pre chaos organisms.  
We like to call the whole thing the circle of life, something dies to give life to something else.
This is how indigenous peoples not only viewed the world but it is also how they understood the goings on all around them, they were part of the world, living in nature and using the portions they learned to provide themselves with food, clothing, and housing.
They learned to respect all things and most of these populations regarded anything they encountered as a being, which meant that they deserved respect and careful use of the entire being not just the best parts of that being.
This concept was and is still very foreign to the European mind set which seems to be that all things are here for their use, and there is no connection to the earth mother.
This allows a disregard to anything that doesn’t provide something for or to them, it is all here for their use, no matter that they might kill off the planet’s ability to provide life to all things, including humans.

In soil we can watch, through a microscope, bacteria, fungi and all the other microorganisms that create soil go about their daily tasks.
In the Laboratory we can set up specific sets of variables for the purpose of studying how each organism handles one variable at a time.
This is the normal way experiments are set up, we keep detailed notes on each variable for each organism.
This gives us a type of base line set of data, but it doesn’t give the overall picture since we are testing one variable only and in nature, such circumstances simply don’t occur.
So, once we have a large grouping of data on individual variables, we have to devise experiments that incorporate several variables in a single event experiment.
This will give us more data and this data will be closer to what we see in nature.
The ideal would be to devise experiments that can include all variables in a single experiment, which good researchers strive to achieve once they have all the individual variable experiments documented and the data has been worked through.
Once we get to this point, we should have a fairly complete understanding of how each variable interacts with all the other variables which is “the real world”.

to be continued

Redhawk
 
Bryant RedHawk
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If we look at the large grass land areas of the planet, they are best preserved by huge numbers of animals, such as the US Prairies and the Bison,
there were millions of Bison and they trampled, ate grasses, defecated and urinated then moved on to another part of the prairie.
The keystone animals for the great prairies are the Wolf and the Bison, the Wolves keep the Bison moving from the fear factor so Bison don’t linger long.
This kept everything in balance, the grasses were mowed by the Bison feeding, their droppings fertilized the soil as did their urine and their hooves trampled the soil, churning and turning the surface, but not so much that anything was destroyed.
Quite the contrary, the bison herds actually kept the prairie healthy.
This has been tested and proven by a gentleman in Africa, who is bringing back lost prairie in South Africa by running over a thousand head of cattle,
in the same manner as the Bison in America or the Wildebeest in Africa, along with the Elephant and all the other masses of grazers.
After he started his cattle experiment, another scientist published his study on the Wildebeest population rise, as it turns out,
they too are a keystone species for the Serengeti and the data shows that around 1.5 million is the species number for the Serengeti Wildebeest population to work and keep the great African plain healthy and with trees able to grow up.
This is nature at work, this is the way nature takes care of the planet and keeps fertile lands fertile, by animals using the land, land is constantly renewed and kept fertile.
Just as Fire replenishes the great forests so does grazing by masses replenish the prairies.
In the oceans predator animals keep in check those organisms that would throw everything out of balance if the top predator was removed.
Sadly, humans have been killing off all the top predators which means we, the human race have stopped Nature from working the way it is supposed to work.
We have taken away most of the keystone animals from the land and the land is degrading because of our actions.
Fortunately these all important keystone animals are still around, which means we can fix the huge mess we created.
The problem will be getting people to understand that those predators are all important to the land and the seas, without them, everything will end up a monoculture because of the lack of the keystone animals.
When one does the math, it turns out that global warming, while important, is not as critical as bringing back the predators for the health of our planet.
Perhaps the most interesting thing is that while humans are the highest keystone animal on earth, humans are also the single most destructive to the earth and humans don’t want to change because that would eat into the comforts humans enjoy.

Redhawk
 
pollinator
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Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
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Dr. Redhawk.  I hope in the future to use what you are teaching here.  

I am hoping to find a pasture (5 to 25 acres) that has held bovines for many decades to use for a future orchard. I want to avoid the farm land where they still use poisons.  I do not want to lose everything from the wind carrying these toxins.

In my are we currently have more than enough rain where I am living, but there are still short periods of drought.  A lot of clay but I have learned here that clay means nutrients. Having access to an abundance of wood chips is also great.
My hope is I can lead through example, to those in my area and show the local gardeners how they can avoid chemicals and get rid of their grass and grow food for themselves.

I have only seen the coyote, fox and very few bear who are the predators here.  Deer are still prevalent and sometimes get killed by cars since the hunters are not enough to control the population.

I do know that everyone on this site has similar paths.  
 
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