by Audrey Clark
My stepbrother lounged in front of the television watching a reality TV show about mining in Alaska. I sat on the couch, facing away from the television, drinking tea and reading a book on visionary scientists.
After a while, I started to wonder what my stepbrother wondered about.
“What questions do you have about nature?”
Then, in an outpouring I wouldn’t expect from a non-naturalist, let alone one who was watching TV:
“Can plants feel pain? How does a woodpecker not get a concussion? How do you tell how old a tree is without cutting it down? How long does it take ants to build an ant hill? Where does honey come from? Like what part of the bee? What’s the best way to survive a bear attack? Can animals get sick from drinking bad water like we can? Why do monkeys have better immune systems?”
In honor of my stepbrother, here are my best attempts at answering these questions: Continue reading