Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta nature. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta nature. Mostrar todas las entradas

martes, 4 de octubre de 2016

The swamp

   Everyone and everything had been thrown into the swamp. The plane crashed violently in the middle of the night and all the safety and security services had been dispatched to help. The bad thing was that the area was very remote with no roads and nor real ways to access except by foot, which would take several days for any person, even the most knowledgeable as the swamp was concerned. They also send helicopters and drones, which could see the fire, caused by the fuel, but could do nothing else than watch, as there were no spots to land.

 The families of the victims traveled from their homes to the nearest town but they were soon frustrated to now that the area was difficult in every sense of the word. Besides, the imagery registered by many cameras showed that the fire had already caused explosions and most of the actual plane was now destroyed. The likelihood of anyone been able to survive that was very remote but most families stayed in town, trying to join the rescue teams or at least attempting to be useful somehow before the pain and the tragedy hit them hard in their hearts.

 With machetes, firemen and policemen tried to cut down some of the swamp trees. That wasn’t very well received by the many people whose job was to protect that green area. They realized the destruction caused by the plane could not be prevented but they thought that cutting more trees to be able to only access a couple of more meters of swamp was just stupid. Not only because the trees got thicker and less likely to be cut the more they advanced, but also because of the legends surrounding the place, which people from the nearby town knew so well too.

 The lady that ran the only decent diner in town was the one who told the families of the victims about the legend of the swamp. It was said that in ancient times prehistoric men started to come in the area and that when they tried to travel further the swamp didn’t let them. Some of the people in the tribe wanted to go through it, others around it. So they divided into two groups but only one remained. The one that penetrated the forest never came out. It is said that they remained in there and that they evolved differently than the rest of humanity.

 Someone else explained that it was a legend similar to the one of Big Foot but in a swamp. Many people had seen the creature or at least that’s what they said. Fifty years ago, the place was not a wildlife reserve so people would go in to fish and hunt. There were many stories from that time about the green gigantic men that roamed all over the swamp. Some said they helped stranded people; others portrayed them as savage beasts capable of eating human flesh. Either way, the families of the victims were not really thrilled about the idea of a beast attempting to eat their people.

 The fire caused by the jet fuel lasted for two days until a storm helped and extinguished it for good. Drones and helicopters were used again but at a lower altitude now that they didn’t have to handle smoke or flames. Their fly-by’s only showed the few pieces left of the planes and the black water below those pieces. They even detected pieces of clothing and some objects that any passenger would have like a suitcase or a doll. But there were no bodies or parts of bodies. They could not detect any victim, dead or alive, and that was tragic.

 The general thought was that the fire had burned the bodies to a crisp, especially after having been alive for two days. The force of the impact also had to be accounted for. The most possible outcome was for every single person to have died because of the fire and not even because of the violent crash. Those news were very hard on the families who started leaving the small town right after the announcement. Most of them felt everything was done for them there.

 However, some family members stayed. They insisted on having at least some bones to bury, some of their objects or anything they could mourn with. They needed something, anything really, to start the long and painful process of mourning. Some had lost children, some others fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters. The plane had been at full capacity on a very popular route. The tragedy was just too big to ignore. The remaining family members decided to help police and firemen with the look for the black boxes.

 Those were essential to understanding how everything had happened. It would help bring some closure to the people touched by the accident and it would also bring much needed answers to the investigators because the causes of why the planned had crashed were not at all clear. The aircraft had passed its last revision only a few months ago and had flown that exact route thousands of times. The night it went down, there was no storm or atmospheric phenomena that would explain the crash.

 The small town saw a surge of people coming in and out: reporters, investigators and even curious people that knew everything about the swamp and were dying to know what the crash meant for the alleged creatures that lived in there. All of those people came and went for weeks, doing different things to find answers, not always looking for the same ones. But as they did what they felt they had to do, they had neglected to check other areas of the swamp. Areas that were even more remotely located than the crash landing site.

The swamp was a very large natural entity. It was such a big part of the region that many roads had to do go around it, making travel very difficult around that corner of the Earth. The plane had crashed in the area where smaller trees grew. The area was almost always flooded because of the nearby rivers the swamp helped in regulating. The importance of the ecosystem was so high that the people of the region had been the ones to ask the government to protect the swamp, thus guaranteeing a good flow of the rivers, which would give them fish and energy.

 That was the reason why people didn’t really care about the swamp, as long as it was there to do its natural job. However some occasionally tried to get it in order to find the alleged creature that lived there. The interest arose briefly after the plane crash. However, weeks later, there was no one very interested in creatures no one had seen in years. They were more concerned with the swamp turning into a graveyard and the consequences of the fuel that had been poured into the water. They were more concerned with that than anything else.

 So worried that they ignored the signs coming fro mother parts of the swamps. Unusual movements of the plants, incipient fires and large creatures swimming that were not alligators. People had ultimately survived from the crash but no one was watching in their direction. They were just three people: two adults and a child. They didn’t have any connection among them except that they were seating on the same row of the plane. That row was expelled far from the plane and that was the reason why they had survived.

 However, that was to be seen as they had no food, the water they were swimming was probably polluted by the jet fuel and there were animals all around, trying to have something to eat. They had tried going from tree to tree but that was hard and one of the adults was very injured. Swimming was the alternative but they had to do it during the day, in order to know if alligators or similar were around the area. They moved away from the crash site, thinking they would be seen more easily if they did so but that proved to be false.


 The adult who was injured died three days after the crash, as he slept on a tree. The kid and the other adult tried to move onwards but it was practically impossible, as the swamp seemed to be less “open” as they advanced with the river. On the fifth day, they saw a helicopter. When they tried to wave to it, the branch of the tree they were holding on broke and they both fell to the water, near a group of reptiles. As the animals got closer to attack, another creature appeared out of nowhere, knocked out the flesh eaters and helped the kid and the adult out of the water. It was a big, greenish creature. And it seemed to smile.

jueves, 8 de septiembre de 2016

The desert and its creatures

   Alexa had always been very fascinated by the desert. She had studied all types of animals from it and had done her final thesis back in the university about all of them. So it was very natural, when she finished studying, that she joined a team of proper biologists in order to go to a remote desert region to discover new species. She was fascinated by the fact that a whole bunch of life forms could be discovered just like that, even in these times. She was, without a doubt, the most enthusiastic person to ever work in such a difficult environment.

 Not only was it hard for everyone because of the food and the general living conditions, but because looking for anything meant having to submit oneself to the very hot temperatures of the desert and the dangerous creatures than lived within. In her first week, Alexa was almost stung five times by different scorpions that appeared out of nowhere, every time exactly where her hand was.

 She had become quite aware of those little creatures and was now very capable to know where the animals would appear and also how much time she could stand under the sun before she started feeling really bad. Alexa was a strong woman, willing to resist whatever was necessary in order to achieve her goal of discovering something new in the name of science. She wanted to make history and there was no doubt she could seriously achieve her goal.

 The food was also a big problem in the camp, always tasting a lot like the sand of the desert but she knew never to complain. If she didn’t like something, she just didn’t eat it and tried to exchange with others for things that she had like energy bars. And every guy in her group liked her because she had been careful enough to bring so many energy bars it seemed she would never run out.

 They stayed in the same part of the desert for a long time, without having any success in the discovery front. They had classified many differences between scorpions of the same type but not much more than that. They had also taken numerous pictures and had studied the possible ways that snakes and other creatures could survive the hot temperatures. It was a big revelation to see an actual snake move around the hot desert sand.

 The trip was really fun but the first week went by too soon and they had permission to stay in the desert for three weeks. After all, it was a national park that was protected by a series of rules and regulations in order for people not to alter its stability in any way. The permission they had been granted was very hard to get and they really needed to take advantage of it.

 However the first week proved to be a deprived of any real discoveries. They were all really worried that maybe they wouldn’t be able to fin anything knew. They changed their camp’s location drastically, in order to be closer to an oasis, where some animals may thrive because of the “easier” conditions. However, they found nothing there either except more snakes and scorpions.

 The water, however, was crystal clear. They grabbed some into bottles in order to test it once they went back into their labs and regular work lives. It would be interested to see how many bacteria would be able to live in such a hostile environment and to know if the water was as pure as it seemed to be. Alexa even drank some directly from the pond because she was very thirsty and thought that even catching a disease from the water would be more fun that what she was doing daily, which was nothing.

She was very disappointed in her first trip. She thought that maybe it had not been the best idea to go to the desert in this first time. Maybe it could have been better to get to the forest or even in a boat to some corner of the ocean. She was trying to come up with different alternatives but the desert was the ecosystem that had always fascinated her, maybe because her parents had been born so close to an actual desert.

 Although not nomad or anything of the sort, her parents had the tradition to get fresh dates from the desert when it was the right season for those. They would roam the desert in order to pick them from the trees and Alexa would love it because she really loved the taste of the dates but also the feeling of adventure she had when she was around her parents.

 They weren’t’ scientist or anything like that. As matter of fact, she was the non-artistic person in her family. She had some skill while drawing but that was it. Alexa was a terrible singer, even in the shower, and couldn’t properly paint, write or anything like that. For some strange reason, she had been born without that very characteristic gene that most of her family had. However, she was very good with numbers, so she never felt too bad in school.

Another week ended the day they changed locations in the desert, once again. They were trying desperately to pick up anything. Their walks every day were getting longer and longer and people were getting desperate, even to the extent that everything they saw was a reason to cheer and get excited and then realize they had just seen a rock or a dead scorpion or something like that. By the beginning of the third week, no one was very happy about the results they had come up with.

 However, good things come to people that wait. In one of their long walks, a good friend of Alexa’s was the one who discovered some markings on rocks who had never been registered. By the way they were painted, it seemed the artist had lived a very long time ago, probably when the rock was really above the desert and not buried in it. Although they were mostly biologists, they were all very excited about such a discovery because it was something that could change the understanding of the place they were in.

 The most interesting part of the drawings was that it depicted humans and also other creatures hat seemed to represent the ecosystem of the desert. There was a drawing of a scorpion, another of some kind of bird and also snakes. All of those were pretty common. But then, there were drawing of several insect like creatures that had never been registered in that desert. So from that day, the biologists decide to help and clear the rock formation from sand in order to see if they could find something interesting to their field.

 And that’s exactly what happened. Four days before living, one of Alexa’s partners found the rotting body of a huge beetle the size of an adult’s hand. Several pictures were taken and the specimen was treated with a special solution in order to put it in a box and take it to the laboratory. The most interesting feature of that insect was the color: it was golden, just like the sun and the sand. Nature was very bright.

 Some other insects were discovered in the area and those were actually alive. There was a big thick worm it red antennae and some kind of really big green ant. They were all preserved carefully in boxes and jars for further study. In a few days, the would be back in their usually work attire, not shorts and shirtless like in the desert, typing in to computers and using several machines to understand what they were seeing.

 Alexa’s discovery came on the very last day and it happened to be a very dangerous one because it was a total accident. The creature was basically a scorpion but the difference was it was as big as a human baby. Its eyes were bright red and its body was very white, probably because it lived beneath the sand. Sadly, the creature had to be killed in order to take it back to the lab. But not only because of that but because it had almost stung Alexa with its tail.


 She took a picture of the creature and would later print it and put it in her workstation in the lab. She was very proud of her discovery but she couldn’t help wondering if what she had discovered was a natural creation or if it was some kind of mutation. She was really looking forward to solve that problem too.

miércoles, 23 de septiembre de 2015

Sages & Temples

   Tea was poured into four small glasses and the men drank it fast but in silence. After they had finished, they separated, each taking a different direction on the crossroads that passed just by the small hotel they had met. No one would ever know that those four men had been talking about very ancient things, about legends and about men that no longer existed. They were all sages, taking care of temples in different regions of the world. Each one of those temples was dedicated to a different element existing in the world. They used to be more temples but they had been destroyed in the past and only the four most important ones remained. People had forgotten all about that, but not the sages. They had taken care of their buildings in such a way that any person that passed by was impressed and had to come in.

 Even if they didn’t now the whole meaning of everything, they always knew that those places were very special. No one ever tried to move them or demolish the temples to build something else. Actually, no one even thought of building anything close to any of the temples. That aura that the woods and every other natural element gave to the place was part of the reason why people adored spending time there, even if they were not especially fond of praying. Families just spent the day there checking out the hidden features of the building, which had secret drawings and things all over the place. This pleased the sages because the legend said that the temples should always be filled with people or the gods would descend to make things right in the world.

 The four of them had met because they had all received a mysterious letter. There wasn’t a name on it, not a thing telling them who had written the mysterious words that revealed there was a lot more to their order that they even knew. There was some secrecy that had always surrounded their group but nothing like those letters, which spoke of a very old enemy preparing to come out into the world to bring chaos, which they had to confront whether they were ready or not. The letters seemed menacing at parts but they weren’t threats or warnings. They seemed to have been written by a especially mysterious friend, something they didn’t really appreciate as people in the dark tend to like it there.

 They read the letters various times, trying to look for differences between the four that they had received but that was not possible as they were exact copies, word by word. The paper seemed to have been made by the person that had written the letters, as it was very hard and rugged in several areas. The writing did weird curves and funny loops but it was obvious it didn’t have anything to do with the writing skills of the letter’s sender. The ink was pretty regular, so that did not say anything either. But the signature, however, had something they hadn’t seen in quite a while.

 The thing was, the letters didn’t have a traditional signature. Instead, there was a red seal at the bottom of each letter. According to those markings, the seals had been put on different times. Some were very well defined and others seemed to have been put in a rush. The seal was a symbol that monks had used over one thousand years in the past, when dark forces reigned all over the country and the lands of nature. The presence of that seal, made the sages think the person that had written the letters knew the past very well. No one really had access to those seals, unless they had kept them for generations. Some were in museums but none of them had been stolen. There was the possibility of all of this been a hoax but, somehow, it didn't seem like it at all.

 The group of four men stayed in that small hotel for an entire week. Not surprisingly, they were the only guests of the place. The owner, a big-breasted older woman, didn’t even talked to them, as she already knew what they needed and when they needed. Breakfast, lunch, diner and teas times were always exactly at the same hour and were always served at exactly the same time. She prepared their bed exactly at nine o’clock at night and left the windows opened because they all liked to hear nature as they slept. These details had all been given to her by letter sent from an assistant of one of the sages in order for her not to interrupt any of their meetings. She liked having them around anyway.

 Every meeting, they met in a small room by the veranda where the sun entered gently as well as the autumn breeze. It was often a very quiet room, even when they were all there. During long moments, the sages liked to keep silent and not say a word unless they thought it served to enhance their conversation and their deliberation about the letters. That’s, in part, why they stayed there for a whole weak. They had to go through every detail and each one of them had to give his opinion about every single matter that they proposed, every solution to the mystery. In spite of the modern world, these men had decided to live a life that wasn’t rushed and fast. They thought every single step they took in the world.

 All of them had gotten to be sages exactly because of that. They were patient men that loved to be close to the gods and nature. They knew how to communicate with themselves and the people surrounding them and had always this aura of peace around them that made people like them instantly. No one could be aggressive to any of them as they calmed fast and just heard their words and opinions about any old subject that the times put on the table. They were also very smart although they were no geniuses. They actually refused to be thought of as more than men or more special that most men. They always insisted they weren’t and that they were just men on a very special mission.

 Before they separated, they agreed that the letters were a pressing matter. The sages had always thought they were the only ones with any knowledge about the ancient world and now someone was presenting itself to them and telling them that he it was there. Every single one of them returned to their regions with the promise to keep investigating in order to clarify the matter as soon as possible. They even worked during their trip back, which was by road or train, and as they did some of them discovered interesting things. Two on the letters had traces of some type of dust, which happened to be rice dust, which was normally used in cosmetics. Another one of the letter had a stain of water in the back and, when properly checked, they discovered it was salt water.

They kept discovering things like that, small indications in a very big map, and they decided to reunite again some six months after their initial meeting. This time, however, they chose a small town by the sea. They stayed in another hotel with another owner that knew how to treat them, and there they reunited every single piece of the puzzle. They worked on it for days and days until one night they agreed they had found the person. They decided there was no time to waste so they would travel that same night. The trip was not very long as their destination was a bigger town by the sea, very well known for the fisheries.

 There, they did a little big of investigation until they decided to act. They arrived at a grand house in the middle of the night. They didn’t knock or anything like that, instead using their special abilities to walk over the rooftops and enter the mansion that way. The place seemed deserted but suddenly the lights were turned on and a woman, young and beautiful, stepped into the garden to greet them. The men stay there, very still, as if waiting to see their host’s next move. It was a wise things to do because a battle ensued, where she used knifes and a love sword to battle against them. The neighbors didn’t hear nay of the racket because of the trees and the structure of the building but the fight was though.


 Then, the woman simple stopped and revealed herself to be one of the other sages, of the temples that had been destroyed long ago. She had been hiding because her grandfather had been the former sage and he had no one else to leave the temple than to his granddaughter. She promised to do well and rebuilt the ruins he had left her and she had done so. She asked the sages to follow her and soon they found themselves to be in one of the biggest and most awe-inspiring temples they have ever stepped in. The dedication she had show, in fight and restoring the temple, won the respect of the sages who accepted her as the only sage in generations to be a woman and to live by the ocean.

lunes, 7 de septiembre de 2015

Not unique

   It’s amazing how sometimes you can torture yourself with so many stupid little things. I guess we want life to be so controlled, so perfect and calm that anything that poses a challenge or a sudden change makes us nervous. I personally don’t like people who say, “I like challenges” because no human with a proper brain would like to be proven wrong. What people that say that phrase mean is that they are not afraid of confronting themselves, but that doesn’t mean they are going to conquer their fears, it only mean they are going to face them. Fear is something very relative, almost having a world of its own. When you say you’re scared at night in a dark street, it is not the same fear that I experience when looking at a spider, even if it is on a TV screen.

 Anyway, we tend to make everything so big, so scary just to tell ourselves we can overcome it. Problems and dilemmas are now, at least in appearance, more stupid than ever before. I mean, people think it’s a problem to have fat on their bodies or to dress one way to a formal event and not the other way. These are dumb examples but they are the truth. People now have put their challenges at the same height of their apparent skills of when solving problems and facing life. They are so afraid of anything than even putting on a skirt or jeans is a life threatening decision. The idea behind this is that people face smaller problems, challenges, than they would usually do, avoiding the larger ones almost always. But when life comes and surprises them, they turn it into a drama only they can understand.

 Now that’s stupid. We are humans, a species that is quite abundant in the world, so thinking only one of us has experienced something that others haven’t, and it borders madness. We have a really big problem realizing that we are not unique; we are not as special as we have led ourselves to believe. The truth is, and always will be, that we are animals and, as such, our lives and pretty similar, no one really standing out. What makes humans stand out is the society and the rules we have built ourselves. It is not through nature that someone takes power over others or experiences a life of riches and others experience poverty. It is through the human condition, which can always change, at any time.

 Let’s say someone is born into a rich family. We would think that said person has been a very lucky one as money guarantees many things in life that, in any other way, you wouldn’t get. It wasn’t nature that gave that person’s parents’ money, it was the society they live in. And that same society can turn the tables on that family and make them poor, make them starve an d know what it is to have nothing on your stomach for four days in a row. It isn’t nature that took it all away from them, it was Man. In nature we are nothing too special but in society we can be the best or the worst, depending on how we play the game.

 Now, what does this have to do with those things that torture us everyday? Well, society made those too. They made us be aware of things we do not really need to be aware with. Like the economy, some other things are meaningless in a real way. We have created them as humans, and they can be easily replaced at any time. That’s what has happened with the technological revolution, where one device is replaced by the next with the simplest of decisions. And, by the way, those decisions are never taken by only one man or one woman. They are taken by a group, no matter the size, and that’s what changes things. That’s why there are no more beepers and only smartphones, that’s why we want to control every person’s move and thought these days.

 The things that torture us have often much to do with those things we still can control. It’s funny but even if we think we have no control over something, we always do if it has been created by mankind. We cannot cure cancer and we cannot make a storm at will but we can make human things go our way. How do you think some people rob banks or create them? It doesn’t matter which one is it because the trick is that we can do whatever we want with it only because it has been created by us. We can always change things that we have done; it is only what happens beyond humanity that simply cannot touch.

 That said, we have done many great things, we have advanced in our evolution and have even forced a bit forward. That’s the most significant relation on how we have affected nature but we still cannot control that evolution. If we could, we would already have people living in other planets and on the bottom of the ocean. But we haven’t because we are still severely limited by nothing other than ourselves. The only way we can achieve these things it’s by reorganizing the world we have and creating new technology based on us. Because that’s what we have been doing for some time and what we will keep doing for a long while. Of course, not all of us are going to participate because evolution doesn’t need all of us but it does need a group.

 The realization that we are left behind is a great worry among humanity. It is practically the same than knowing you are alone, although you’re not ever really alone. We just feel that way precisely because we have been led to believe we are special, when we are not. It is true that our intelligence and ability to solve problems is quite remarkable but it is quite impossible for it to be unique. If other intelligent life exists in our cosmos, we wouldn’t be special at all and we are not now because it isn’t something of a single specimen but of a whole species. The fact that we are so many, makes us less special.

 But our numbers make us prone to surviving, even if we don’t really have that in us. Because not many people have real survival skills but the fact that we are so many, like ants, makes us difficult to eradicate unless a proper way to destroy us was invented. And it has, by us. There are artificial diseases and weapons that could destroy every single human on the planet and it would only take a few seconds. It would only involve the decision of one person, not even a group, to do that. And the fact that humanity has given power to one above others is simply ridiculous. That proves that we are not as smart as we think we are because we have basically told some people they can annihilate us whenever they want, they have our permission.

 It’s all because we live in a world of fear. We are not really free or will ever be because we tie ourselves down with the same ropes that some groups give us. Self-confidence, fear, angst, sadness… So many more that we use against each other, only to makes us feel a little less us and a bit more unique. What do you think a person who kills her or himself in the gym is looking for? They are not there to improve their health, no matter what anyone says. They are trying to achieve a physical state where they can be above the rest, be a little less them and a little bit someone better. That’s what has made this “physical” revolution a success: we hate ourselves and the fact that we are so, for lack of a better word, normal.

 I’m not saying that people that go to the gym hate themselves but most actually do. And not only them but all of us but every single person that had forced change into their lives because they feel they will never stand out if they keep behaving like the simple and boring organisms that they are. We try so hard to make everyone feel so unique and special, that it is a great pain when we realize that no matter what we do, we will never be really unique. We can put everything on us, we can take things away, but we are always the same people, no matter how many costumes we put on. Our personality is different, from person to person, but it is not unique either, just particular.


 And that should be enough from us. Why singling us out to the world when we know we all have the capacity to do exactly the same things? We can all be singers and actors and engineers because we all have the capacity to be each one of those things and many more. What we decide in life, however, it is matter of the current conditions we live with and our personal convictions and tastes, that are also no special but at least they differ a bit from person to person because, as we all know, we are all made from the same stuff but we are not copies of one another. We are very similar and not identical and that should be enough for us to stop tormenting us by everything and start living for real.