About the Nature film, The Serengeti Rules

starfish underwater
Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

Those in Utah who are in favor of removing all limits on the killing of cougars – which is in the current bill on the governor’s desk – might watch the film The Serengeti Rules – part of the Nature series, which just aired this evening on PBS. You can buy it on PBS too.

It is a crystal clear presentation of what happens when a keystone species – which are often, but not always, predators – disappears from an ecosystem.

What happens is always exactly the same – an imbalance arises – and one by one – all the other natural species die until nothing at all is left – only a barren desert with no life – or an empty pool by the seashore in which nothing lives.

Many examples were given in the film. Starfish are a keystone species. They hunt and keep other populations in check. When they were removed from a pool by the seashore, other species, with their population unchecked, multiplied, and began to eat everything in sight. In short order, everything was eaten and there was no food left. Then everything died and there was a completely dead pool.

In another situation – like several similar real situations in western U.S. states – all the wolves were killed. (All U.S. wolves had been killed and were extinct in the lower states by the end of the 1940’s. Gradually, with great effort some wolves have been brought back in recent years. It is an uphill battle – and many, many wolves, re-introduced, are still being killed.) In this particular situation, the film shows that after all the wolves had been killed, the deer, predictably, multiplied and ate everything – every young sapling, every blade of grass, every leaf within reach on the trees – until there was a vast overpopulation of deer who then died of starvation. This is what always happens.

There were many other examples presented – in the water, in the ocean and rivers, and on land – of keystone species being killed off and then the entire ecosystem collapsing as a consequence.

Of course, we might care about the cougars because they are individual, innocent, magnificent, majestic animals who enjoy living their lives free in the wild. But even if we don’t care about that – even if we don’t really mind killing off all of nature (the bill would make it legal to trap cougars pretty much anywhere at any time), we might take a moment to ask ourselves how we humans will survive when all the natural ecosystems are gone.

Radical imbalances in nature and weather disturbances are already causing harm and death to humans on a significant scale – and of course also to all the innocent creatures on the planet.

The Serengeti Rules, part of the Nature series, presents an absolutely clear, irrefutable scenario of the path we as a species are headed down – and also highlights the work of those heroes who fight hard and persevere to save the earth and the natural world.

© Copyright Sharon St Joan, 2023

To remember the days of dragons

close up shot of bees on a flower
Photo by Ricardo Josue Villaseñor Arechiga on Pexels.com

If you were to remember

The birth of dragons

And the times you played among them,

Hearing their feet splashing in the puddles,

Remembering their eyes of fiery emeralds—

If you were to remember,

Then you could run, calling after them,

You could call them and

They would return,

Trailing magic in their silver wings.

Then it could happen that

On the afternoon of a strange Sunday

They could unwind

The obtuse windings

Of the world of men,

Bound up in iron snares,

Releasing fire spirits, air fairies, wise feather-footed owls,

And the innocents entombed for millennia

Into an age of joy,

Where winged bees sing to the flower,

Toadstools dream by the melodious shore,

And the peace of eternal power

Settles over the primeval forest

Green in the darkness of the stars.


Written July 15, 2012

© Copyright, Sharon St Joan

How beavers are reviving wetlands — Exposing the Big Game

Published9 hours ago Share https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-64502365 Related Topics Climate change By Navin Singh Khadka Environment correspondent, BBC World Service We are losing wetlands three times faster than forests, according to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. When it comes to restoring them to their natural state there is one hero with remarkable powers – the beaver. Wetlands […]

How beavers are reviving wetlands — Exposing the Big Game

Unpleasant reality

Just about every day, one can see heart-wrenching ads on TV about children’s hospitals. No one would disagree that these children and their parents need and deserve help.

However, many people are unaware that the word “research” in the words “research hospital” means animal experimentation.

If you feel that this experimentation is kind and gentle, sorry, but that is not the case. Here is some information about testing on animals:

Go to Humane Society International, then click on “Our Work,” then go to “Animal Testing.”

This is very painful to read, and the photos are disturbing. However, if you are unaware of the cruelty that is never mentioned at all in the ads that present only innocent children – cruelty that is being perpetrated out-of-sight on animals, you may wish to be more informed. That way you can make a conscious decision about whether or not you feel that any good can ever come from inflicting pain and death on innocent animals who have had nothing at all to do with causing human suffering.

Only you can make this decision for yourself, and this is relevant information.

by Sharon St Joan

Dam demolitions set for Klamath River in Western U.S. will be biggest in history  — Natural History Wanderings

NPR reported on November 17 U.S. regulators approved a plan Thursday to demolish four dams on a California river and open up hundreds of miles of salmon habitat that would be the largest dam removal and river restoration project in the world when it goes forward. Read more at  Dam demolitions set for Klamath River in […]

Dam demolitions set for Klamath River in Western U.S. will be biggest in history  — Natural History Wanderings

When the raven danced

black bird on green grass
Photo by Daniil Komov on Pexels.com

On the tilting edge of the moon

The raven danced

To herald the coming

Of a newer, spirit-misted world.

Black – so many of the days

Of yesteryear,

Caught in a curled tailspin

Of swirling dust,

Yet, within the eye

Of the innocent deer,

Who stands at the border of the forest

Her toes of moonlight

Dipped in the stream

Of whirling


There, the ancient fire glows.


Not far away,

The spry

Young dragon

Who chanced by –

Timid – gathers

His courage

And leaps into the fray

To play

With his lively brother.

Old deep songs in the fall-enchanted hills


A distant memory,

A clatter of bones,

Round and round the strings

Of former days

Strung together

Like ringed stones

That still


Among the dark, foreboding, rocky pillars

Of the night.


Born anew,

The recurring

Blessing —

Of the bird-lit house of flowers

Perched on the tall hill –

Glimmers by the footsteps

Of the last fairy


By the fish-finned


In the raindrops

Of glistening showers,

Fallen from the silver mountain,


In the sacred sun,

Where the raven dreams

And dances

In the final, awakening days

Of prophecy,

In the cold wind.

Copyright Sharon St Joan 2022

Kissing Cousins~ —

Beautiful Maui, has beautiful critters. (Red Crested Cardinal) Did you know? (Spotted Dove) Birds are close relatives, (Myna Bird) to turtles? I certainly didn’t know, and neither does this baby myna! Turtles seem to know everything, (Green Sea Turtle) so this friendly guy, who swam right up to me, probably wouldn’t be surprised. Green Sea […]

Kissing Cousins~ —

Two fruit bat friends — Forest Voices of India

A Great Indian fruit bat in the wild Over two years ago, in April of 2020, two Giant Indian Fruit Bats were rescued from Bangaluru City, in south India, and brought to the WRRC (Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre). Both are males that weighed 390 grams and 410 grams (nearly one pound each). The Covid…

Two fruit bat friends — Forest Voices of India