Hi, Mr. Nature here, with the shark that has a funny name.
You never hear much about the porbeagle. It looks a lot like the great white, to which it’s very closely related. It’s a really good idea to get out of the water rather than place confidence in your ability to tell the two apart. But the white shark is notorious for attacking human beings, and the porbeagle isn’t. One wonders why.
Apparently God, when He was creating sharks, used pretty much the same template to create two species with very different behavior patterns. And the more you think about that, the more you wonder.
All this video is from Rottnest Island, Australia, where people go to see quokkas. The name of the island means “Rat Nest” in Dutch: some old-time sailors mistook the quokkas for large rats. Must’ve been at sea too long.
These seem to be very lovable animals, and I hope it’s safe for them to mix so freely with humans.
Even Mr. Nature doesn’t know everything about nature; so when “Watchman” asked if I’d ever heard of the quokka, reputed to be “the happiest animal in the world,” I had to say no. Nevertheless, there is such an animal and here it is.
I think they look like a cross between a kangaroo and a teddy bear. They live on scattered islands off the coast of Australia, and are zealously protected from overattentive tourists who just can’t get enough of them. Unlike most kangaroos and teddy bears, quokkas are very good at climbing trees.
God’s stuff–we never run out of things to love and admire in His handiwork.
To see how these little owls get along with people, and even with a dog, is to get a glimpse of God’s love. Love is the quintessential God’s stuff, and it works. And not just for humans, either.
One day when I was five years old, my friend and I ventured into the woods; and we hadn’t gone far when we got the scare of our lives. The noise we made disturbed an owl and flushed him out of his perch in a small tree beside the path, just four or five feet from us. Yikes! To this day I remember that owl as being a lot bigger than either of us.
But I know now that there was nothing to be afraid of.
Hi, Mr. Nature here, with a thrilling tale from our kitchen.
Yesterday Mrs. Nature was making supper when she suddenly screamed. “What’s going on out there?” “It’s in my pants! It’s in my pants!”
Sure enough, it was a big bug crawling up her leg inside her pants–our cats were totally fascinated–and then it fell out on the floor. She thought it was a praying mantis at first, but it was just a harmless katydid. Relying on camouflage for protection, these move slowly and their leaf-like wings make a nice safe handle by which to pick them up and release them outdoors.
If you turn up the volume on this video, you can actually hear some katydids in the background. It’s one of the sounds of summer, katydidding away at night. It’s some of God’s stuff, and a joy to listen to.
Hi, Mr. Nature here, with more of God’s stuff.
Cats and kids love these–click beetles: the “elater,” to crossword puzzle fans. When the beetle winds up on its back, which seems to happen often, it “clicks” straight up into the air in hopes of landing on its feet. They’ll keep trying till they get it right.
Their larvae are a pest, but the adult beetles are harmless and entertaining, if you like insect acrobatics.
Just another little detail of Creation…
Hi, Mr. Nature here. And some people will do just about anything to be on youtube, including serving as a launching pad for a cicada killer wasp.
They call ’em cicada killers because that’s what they do. The woman in the video isn’t taking a chance on being stung: these wasps hardly ever sting humans. I guess if you grabbed one and abused it, it would sting you. But that’s about it.
We have one of these babies in our garden this morning. Imagine a hornet as big as a big man’s thumb, maybe even just a little bigger, and you’ve got it. They hunt cicadas as food for their larvae, and in the air, they can hover and even fly backwards.
When a female cicada killer stings a cicada to paralyze it, she’ll drag it to her burrow, if nearby. If not, she lugs the cicada up a tree because it’s too heavy to permit her to take off from the ground.
So don’t freak out if you see one of these. They mean you no harm.
Hi, Mr. Nature here, with a critter a lot of folks have never heard of–the tenrec.
There are a bunch of different species of these little guys, living on Madagascar, Mauritius, and a few other out-of-the-way places in the Indian Ocean. And the thing about them is… are they really mammals?
We ask this because they maintain rather low body temperatures, and unlike all other mammals, but like birds and reptiles and amphibians, they have a cloaca instead of separate urine and genital tracts. That means one little hole for everything, as you’d find on a lizard or a canary. But at least they don’t lay eggs like the platypus or the spiny anteater (echidna).
God’s stuff is very complicated. We’ve been studying it for centuries and are still nowhere near to understanding all of it. We want all our living things sorted into nice, neat categories, and along comes some animal like the tenrec and muddies the waters. I mean, really, what’s a mammal doing with a cloaca?
King Solomon thought one could acquire wisdom by studying the intricacies and mysteries of nature. I’m sure he was right.
[I yield to Mr. Nature–just too worn-out to cover any more news today.]
Jambo, Mr. Nature here, with more of God’s stuff for you to enjoy.
Here we have an octopus who takes advantage of low tide to creep out of the water and crawl around the land, hunting tasty crabs. These are intelligent and versatile animals, and we’re still a ways from knowing what they’re capable of doing. I heard of an octopus playing Strat-O-Matic baseball, but I’m not inclined to believe it.