About trees and ants

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I heard on the radio the other day that scientists have mapped the largest genome to date, eight times larger than the human genome, and that it belongs to a certain species of pine.

The size of a genome is often measured in so called base pairs. A human has 3.2 billion base pairs, a horse 2.7 billion. A common ant where we live is the red wood ant. These little fellows has only about 0.3 billion base pairs. It is tempting to believe that the size of the genome is proportional to complexity and intelligence of a species, when thinking about these numbers. However scientists say that there are a lot of so called junk DNA in a genome; only a minor part of the base pairs are actually doing anything useful. It seems a little evasive, but since the now measured pine has 25 billion base pairs, maybe it is so.
Windflower Dancer and our youngest daughter often go out riding on ancient trails thru the woods around our farm. Trails that were made by the deer and the moose, long before humans first ventured this way thousands of years ago. Windflower is a fresh mount, a Nokota and a very special horse. She is curious and self-aware; it is a good thing to let a horse choose the path. She easily maneuvers the difficult pathways, always evaluating where to best place her feet. In time she will be a trusty trail partner in a way that only Nokota horses can.
I walk behind at a close distance to be at hand if needed. As we ride along the trail I begin to ponder; what if we are wrong, maybe every base pair of a genome actually means something… something we are not yet aware of. The ants are very clever as they build complex societies, but what does an ant know about human intelligence and what we can accomplish in terms of communication, technology and philosophy?

My brain seems to work best with numbers, so in my mind I list the size of different genomes and ponder on;

Ant 0.3
Horse 2.7
Human 3.2
Tree 25.0

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Suppose an ant cannot possibly even imagine the intelligence of a human; how can a human comprehend what a tree can do?

If trees were eight times smarter than we, would we ever know about it?

At first glance a tree seems very simple in its design compared to a human, but isn’t it true that simplicity is significant of smart solutions, rather than complexity?

Isn’t the shortest mathematical formula, E equals m c squared, the most genius one?

A human would destroy its own habitat without a second thought, but a tree never would.

What if trees uphold the highest level of knowledge in philosophy?

I stumbled on a twig, but quickly regained my balance and thought; Well, maybe it is just junk DNA after all…or maybe not.

Need for horses

wernernokota 073One of the first days of spring travels towards dusk and the horses senses the great mystery. The moist condenses into a faint haze that embraces the muddy grassland. A growing but muffled sound of hooves against the ground interrupted by the strained exhalation from running horses calls to me from within. The comforting and soothing smell of warm horses that fills the air just as the mare runs by within five feet, is time-stopping.

wernernokota 063The experience of being close to free running horses has marvelled humans for millennia;

“The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears”.

Horses were once unquestionably important to human life;

“She who owns horses goes where she wants”.

Today the ancient need of horses for labour and transportation is forgotten and the age of information-sharing keeps humanity indoors disconnected from nature and the great mystery.

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But the greatest task of all still remains for the horse; the job to teach.
We desperately need the horse to teach us what nobody does better; to sense the true value of nature and the great mystery.

Warhorses preparing for winter

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As a member of the Nokota® Horse Conservancy, I am dedicated to saving the Native Nokota® Horse through Education, Preservation and Promotion. This year pasture lease has tripled and adding that to last year’s drought has left 118 Nokotas® at risk for a future. This membership drive has been created to increase immediate necessary funds as well as awareness of the Nokota® horses.

Please join the Nokota® Circle of Life for just $25.00.  Please go to (link to Nokota Circle of Life ) to help ensure that these beautiful and trusting creatures have a future.

Thank you in advance,
     Mikael Werner and family
     Volunteer, Nokota® Horse Conservancy member,  Nokota® owner
 
P.S. Please help us prevent another great American tragedy from unfolding on the plains of North Dakota. Just 1 click (link to Nokota® Circle of Life ) and you can help us continue to support the Nokotas®, a living American Legacy. Please forward this to everyone you know who might care that these animals have enough to eat and a place to spend the winter. 
**This level of membership will receive one complimentary copy of the Nokota® News newsletter.
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