Nature, in its marvelous design has been given a combination of skills and instinct to make it impressive in so many ways. As much as we'd like to believe nature is intelligent, it's much more obedience that makes it operate so perfectly. Could you imagine a species or more deviating from its purpose and doing what it wants instead. The planet would be one chaotic mess. When one piece within the system decides to go rogue, the entire system would be out of sync. However, nature is given "just enough" independence to make it so very exciting and intriguing without making the rest of the system fail. Take a hummingbird for instance. When it sits around your garden, it has options of choosing what foods it wants, whether it wants to chase another hummingbird to the next county or not, or just sit and chirp a warning to that other hummingbird. It's decisions like this that make each bird unique, but if the hummingbird chose to go north for winter instead of south, it would certainly meet its demise. There are things within nature that can't be explained, so we put terms to it like instinct to explain it in an easy term, but instinct is not a simple explanation. By definition, instinct is a powerful motivation to make nature do something that isn't learned, but instead a built in response to some kind of stimulant. Could it be temperature that makes birds go south? Definitely not! Otherwise we'd have birds traveling south with every cold front that passes through. Could it be the how far the sun passes over the horizon that triggers them? It could be, but why was the system created that way? Longer feeding days, longer growing periods for them to complete their cycle within the allotted time? There are many theories, but the entire system is brilliant and complex, with reasons for its design. If we alter something within the environment, there are always tweaks performed to counteract our influence, which then brings it all back into place again. We can over complicate it or think we know it, but the reality is this - nature is extremely obedient. It does what it's told and when it's told. If it rebelled, the consequences would be catastrophic. But this brings me back to my point - Nature amuses and intrigues us daily, it fulfills its purpose daily, and not because it's all very robotic in nature, but because each piece has been given "just enough" independence to react and behave differently to the same event. If we knew the exact move nature would perform at any given time, it would have no intrigue. But personality, behavior, character, or whatever we want to call it, has been portioned out to "Just Enough", to keep us returning day after day and keep us intrigued and amused for a lifetime.
This Juvenile Ruby-throat hummingbird chose an unusual place to sit and watch all the others fighting. It had many perches to choose from, but perhaps this reminded it of a nest?
N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. August 17, 2018.
Author of Jewel of the North. Please post your comments and questions.