Tag Archives: pollinators

Favorite Quotes by Nature Cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg

I recently watched an inspiring conversation between cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg and Marie Forleo. Check out their conversation here. Louie has captured nature’s beauty and awesome-ness in time lapse photography, including Wings of Life about the relationships of pollinators and flowers and narrated by Meryl Streep.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Louie. You can check out his work here and his TED talk on nature, beauty, and gratitude here.

[On filming hummingbirds with time lapse photography]…We live in this narrow world. We’re recording at 24 frames per second. That’s the human POV (point of view). What a wonderful way to expand your mind and your consciousness, to realize there are so many different ways to looking at life, what is real. In slow motion with the hummingbirds, it put you into their world of seeing the combat, the twirls, and all those acrobatics. To our eyes, it’s just a blur. You see a hummingbird go by like that. (Quickly,) there it went. To be in their world, to see it from their point of view, it opens your heart. It makes you appreciate life. It makes you appreciate hummingbirds. It may make you put up a feeder in your backyard. That’s good because I think it generates compassion by being present and mindful and gratitude.

Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.

Beauty and seduction are nature’s tools for survival, because we protect what we fall in love with. It opens are hearts and makes us realize we are a part of nature and not separate from it.

I realized that nature had invented reproduction as a mechanism for life to move forward, as a life force that passes right through us and makes us a link in the evolution of life. Rarely seen by the naked eye, this intersection between the animal world and the plant world is truly a magic moment.

When people see my images a lot of times they will say ‘Oh my God.’ Have you ever wondered what that meant? The ‘oh’ means it caught your attention, it makes you present, it makes you mindful. The ‘my’ means it connects with something deep inside your soul, it creates a gateway for your inner voice to rise up and be heard. And God, ‘God’ is that personal journey we all want to be on, to be inspired, to feel like we are connected to a universe that celebrates life.

We’re giants, and we’re unaware of things that are too small for us to see.

When a dragonfly flutters by, you may not realize, but it’s the greatest flier in nature. It can hover, fly backwards, even upside down.

The sound of a million butterflies flapping their wings is indescribable. It’s very heavenly.

Creating a Wildlife Friendly Habitat

In 2015, I wrote about an initiative in which President Obama proposed a “pollinator highway” that extends along Interstate 35.  The I-35 corridor runs north to south from Minnesota through Texas and follows the monarch butterfly migration route. I-35 runs right through the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and every fall it is an amazing spectacle to see the monarchs feeding on nectar plants as they travel through on their way to Mexico for the winter. (Check out the monarch migration routes in North America on the map found here. Read more about pollinators here.) This highway would be planted with milkweed and other pollinator friendly plants that would make for easy “rest stops” for butterflies (and other pollinators too!) to eat and rest along their journey. (Read more about the pollinator highway proposal here.)

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Monarch butterflies on Salvia ‘Mystic Spires Blue’

Fast forward to late 2015, the National Wildlife Federation sponsored an initiative called the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, which is “a national campaign asking mayors to commit their cities to a series of specific actions to make their urban habitat friendlier to the declining monarch butterfly and other wildlife” (Argueta, 2015). Several mayors in the Dallas-Fort Worth area signed this pledge, along with mayors from communities around the country. (Read more about the pledge here.)

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Swallowtail caterpillar on bronze fennel

In therapeutic horticulture programs, teach clients about pollinators and other wildlife. In learning their stories, these can become great lessons on shifting focus from the self to the broader world and recognizing that we are all citizens of the world, even bees, hummingbirds, and bats. A client might also be able to compare his or her own experiences in dealing with personal challenges when learning about the plight of certain pollinators, who themselves face various challenges like threatened habitats. The story of the trek that the monarchs make during their migration can be a metaphor for the hero’s journey – overcoming the odds and experiencing transformation through struggle.

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Sulphur butterfly on petunia

One way to introduce this concept is to join the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge and cultivate a wildlife friendly garden as part of your program…then get your garden certified as a wildlife habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. A wildlife friendly garden incorporates food and water sources for various types of wildlife, options for shelter and places to raise their young, and sustainable gardening practices. In order to meet the requirements of NWF’s wildlife habitat program, refer to their website for more details.

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Bee on Texas mountain laurel

During National Horticultural Therapy Week this week, the staff, clients, and volunteers at Arden Courts of Richardson in Texas held a ceremony to honor the recent NWF wildlife habitat distinction of their gardens, which include raised beds, containers, and in-ground planting beds. This distinction was earned as the result of many people’s hard work, sweat, and plenty of dirt under our fingernails. The gardens contain a variety of sensory stimulating herbs and other plants that are pollinator friendly and drought and heat tolerant, birdhouses, birdbaths, among other garden features. Check out some photos of our garden spaces.eatbreathegarden_wildlifehabitatsign

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