An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of June 13, 2010
issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort adjoining Chichén Itzá Ruin in
YUCATÁN, MÉXICO

102.5° F, WHALES &
VISITORS FROM OUTER SPACE

 Monday it may have gotten hotter than the 102.5° F (39.2°C) registered on the thermometer inside my hut, for there was a long stretch that afternoon when I just didn't have the energy to get up and look. That's a humid 102.5°, too.

The worst thing about the hot afternoons is the horseflies. The Hacienda's visitors in their trimmed and landscaped cabin zone may not have to deal with them but here at the genuinely organic woods' edge the moment you sit down horseflies start sawing on your legs. Our horseflies aren't as large as the ones up North, but they're more persistent and hurt just as much.

So, it's 102.5° F on a super-humid afternoon, you don't want to move a muscle, but the horseflies keep going for your legs. You grow philosophical, and your philosophy darkens. You've already worked through "Why would the Creator create a world with wars, diseases and horseflies" so you dig deeper than that...

On this particular afternoon I have a story from one of my famous updated-each-day, nature-focused RSS news-feeds from many sources at http://www.backyardnature.net/i-rss.htm.

That story dealt with the fact that many researchers now recognize that cetaceans -- whales, dolphins, porpoises -- live in very complex societies, have sophisticated social skills, and in many cases display levels of intelligence and self awareness similar to those of humans. The debate every day becomes more heated about whether humans should respect cetaceans (as well as higher primates such as chimpanzees) as fellow intelligent, self-aware beings -- or keep on eating them.

At this news-feed about smart cetaceans, the public was invited to comment on the matter. One person posed a hypothetical question: "If someday beings from outer space should come to colonize Earth and in most ways they are a little smarter, have a little more advanced technology than humans, and are a little more aware of what's going on in the broad Universe than we, would it be immoral for them to treat us as now we treat cetaceans? Would it be OK if they ate us?"

About at this point in my cogitations, a horsefly begins eating me.

And this brings forth a revelation:

For, horseflies, like beings from outer space, are agents of a higher intelligence... No, not agents, but the very thing itself, a part of the profoundly wise, evolving planetary ecosystem, the biosphere, whose enlightened (sustainable) governing philosophy exquisitely articulates itself in terms of birds, rocks, grass, clouds, me... all continually evolving, interrelating, in the long run getting ever smarter and feeling ever more intensely... And that horsefly is eating me, just as humans continue eating cetaceans.

The main point isn't with the horsefly or me, but the one thing evolving toward ever higher levels, of which we are both parts.

By the time I get all this straight in my mind, a crimson streak of blood runs down the sweaty calf of my leg, and the horsefly, with admirable premonition, is long gone. Facebook Icon.