Tag Archives: nature

Fireflies & Flashlights

Firefly, by theskepticaloptimist on Flickr

Back in August, we were out on the porch one night, watching the bugs.

Me: I see fireflies.
Nitram: Yeah.
Me: I wonder how come they light up like that.
Nitram: Must be some mating thing.


Me: I guess there aren’t that many things out at night that want to eat flying bugs.
Nitram: Yeah. It’s like those deep-sea fishes, they have… some glowing thing…
Me: Phosphorous?
Nitram: Yeah. It attracts other things that they can eat.
Me: Oh yeah. Like, there’s this deep-sea fish that looks like Winston Churchill — what? What the fuck is so funny? Anyway, it’s kinda big, and it sits there on the ocean floor going like this (makes pouting face) and it has a doohickey on its forehead that hangs down like this over its lip (makes another weird face) and other fish come along and go, “Ooh look, shiny,” and the big fish goes GNARF. What??
Him (catching breath): Yeah.
Me: Okay.
Nitram: Yeah.


Me: So I guess fireflies aren’t trying to attract prey.
Nitram: No, it’s a mating thing.
Me: Hmmm.
Nitram: What.
Me: Well, you could try that.
Nitram: …what?
Me: Stick a flashlight up your ass and see if I’d want to fuck you. What??

“In What Way is God Like a Chipmunk?”

Hello, little one! (Fr Matthew Green)

In this way.


Hello, little one!

God’s creatures are beautiful!

St Thomas Aquinas says that there are so many different kinds of creatures in order to reflect the manifold perfections of God, since no one creature can come anywhere near the full greatness and beauty of God.

That gives food for thought… In what way is God like a chipmunk? I don’t mean that facetiously, either. If all creation reflects God’s perfection, there must be some analogous way in which the chipmunk tells us about God.

Some atheists or agnostics would use that as a “reductio ad absurdum” against Christian theology. It think it teaches us to appreciate the world more.

Comments and faves

  1. YawningDog

    I’m an agnostic but I love your theory. Though I did laugh out loud at “In what way is God like a chipmunk?” but only because it’s just such a cute and quirky phrase. :D

    I would think a chipmunk tells us that God is Nature: chipmunks are adorable and beautiful and friendly, but they are also both carnivorous and prey. So goes life. Or something like that. I’m not sure I expressed that very well. I’m not sure about the perfection thing, either, but maybe I just can’t see it.

  2. mehjg

    I’ve been thinking about that description since I put that up. It’s probably not very theologically or philosophically precise… but I do think that all creation speaks to us about God in some way. I’m still trying to figure out how it applies to chipmunks… Because it does have to take into account, as you point out, that they are not just “cute and cuddly”. If this idea is true about chipmunks, it’s also true in some way about slugs and the microorganism that causes malaria, so it’s not an easy question to answer. I’ll have to go back and review exactly what Thomas Aquinas says in order to see it clearer.

    The thing about “perfection” has specific connotations within a Scholastic theological and philosophical context that is not quite the same as in common language.

  3. YawningDog

    I too think that all creation speaks to us, I’m just not sure (obviously) it’s speaking to us about God.

    I do wonder about things like slugs and malaria (though I kind of like slugs and snails, as long as they’re not on me LOL), and I guess that’s where my agnosticism (is that a word?) comes in: I see something like malaria, and that cancer that the Tasmanian devils get, those sort of things, as deviations from Nature’s norm — and I think it’s humankind’s fault, or we’re to blame, because we’ve evolved so fast and learned so very little about how to play well with others that we’ve messed up a lot of the planet.

    I’m going off-topic, but one “think” leads to another with me. :D

  4. YawningDog

    What’s a bit bizarre and funny is that I wrote this comment before joining this discussion: scroll down to what is currently the 9th image (Ninja Squirrel by K_Alinka) in the Squirrels Who Stand Like Max Schreck gallery.

  5. mehjg

    There you have it…. rodents will lead you to God one way or the other! That’s a hilarious group of photos!

  6. YawningDog

    LOL!! :D

It was one of the most endearing exchanges I’ve had on Flickr. :)

Vertically Challenged Mums, and Bee Naps

I went to Agway for squirrel food and they had several giant pots of mums that were overflowing and pouring down the sides. They looked gorgeous, not like the little squidgy pots of sticky-up mums you usually see. The signs stuck in them read “V. Challenged Mums, Half Price, $10.” Very challenged?

I had to ask.

They laughed and said everyone was asking, and that it meant “vertically challenged.” I felt mentally challenged that I couldn’t have figured that out on my own!

I had to get one. I put it on the porch steps and it cascades beautifully. I sit next to it and read in the sun when I’m taking a break from work or housework. It smells lovely. I never knew mums had scent. I told a friend of mine I want to stuff my face in the plant and inhale deeply, but that I won’t because I know I’ll get bees up my nose. The bees are very dozy at this time of year and it’s always sunny on the porch steps, so they’ve settled in on the mums. They take naps there, still and quiet in the sunlight. Once in a while one or more of them buzzes for a moment without moving. A bee snore?

I once found a tiny emerald-green bee waking up one summer morning in my morning glories. He had spent the night inside the closed flower bud, and when the sun warmed it up, he pushed his way out and I got to watch. He didn’t have much trouble getting out, so apparently he’d done this before . When he was a little more than halfway out he stretched a bit and straightened out his antennae and washed his face. Then he climbed out the rest of the way and groomed his wings. After that he just sat there enjoying the early morning sunlight.
It was magical to watch. I’ve seen it a few more times since and it’s fascinating every time.