Did You Know? with Mike Freidlin
Sea of Green

We are now well into summer, hence, time to honor the greenest of  all Pennsylvania months, July. July has always ranked in MY top  twelve months of the year, and to many, ranks numero uno. The  month of June finds many plants just beginning to embrace the  warmer weather, yet not reaching their full potential of "greenness,"  while August finds many plants fade in color in anticipation of cooler  nights and decreased hours of daylight. This leaves July as the month  with the claim to fame as greenest. 

"From its early identification with the Germanic root words "grass"  and
"grow," the color green has been associated with life, renewal  and hope. Bec ause in nature we are surrounded by a world of green  trees, grass, and meadows, the human eye feels very comfortable  with this color and all its many shades. In fact, green not only  dominates nature but also takes up the most space in the  color spectrum that is visible to the eye. Its calming familiarity makes  it the perfect backdrop or background for daily living, working and  playing."

It's no coincidence other forms of natural beauty take advantage of  July, as green serves as the perfect background for such  advertisements as brilliant yellows, reds, purples, and oranges of  wildflowers, birds, and insects. Imagine yourself a magnificent  cardinal flower looking for a pollinator, or a bright red wild ripe  raspberry looking for a hungry seed dispersing mammal. It's the green  background which plays a significant role in getting you noticed. Many  other animals see green as a source of safety and protection.  Many amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, and insects use the color green  as camouflage to blend in with the green July environment. 

Nature in summer is bursting at the seams, and all in that "sea of  green." It's the time to stay connected or to reconnect with nature.  Take your pick... flowers, mammals, birds, insects, reptiles... they are all  there to observe in July. Now is the time to learn the parts of a flower,  use leaves to identify a tree, compare the shades of green in grass, an  oak leaf, soft green moss, or of a green cricket, or, just simply tune in  to that which makes us whole... flourishing nature. It's nature school  in full session, and everyone gets an A.

So, in conclusion, if you're looking for greener pastures, you may want
to go to... greener pastures!

"Did You Know?" quiz for the July...

More than half (70%) of the  world's oxygen is produced by phytoplankton photosynthesis in the  world's oceans. The other 30% of the world's oxygen is produced is  almost entirely in:

a. Tropical rainforests

b. Boreal forests

c. Meadows, plains, and savannas

d. Temperate forests

Last month's Did You Know? answer is...

Which insect migrates annually from the northeastern U.S. and
southeast Canada to spend the winter in the forested highlands of
central Mexico?

a. Hummingbird bee

b. Hummingbird moth

c. Monarch butterfly

d. Mexican wedge-tail damselfly

The answer is: a. The beautiful monarch butterfly!

Until next month,

About Mike

Mike Freidlin is a naturalist, athlete, vegan animal rights activist, and environmental science educator with 35 years of teaching experience. In his role as middle and high school science teacher for the Abington 
Heights, Pennsylvania school district, Mike acted as the Middle and High School Ecology Club Advisor. He led more than 700 student members of  the Tropical Rainforest Ecology Club on trips to such destinations as  Panama, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, where they learned about rainforest  protection, the rights and concerns of animals and indigenous communities,  and students' roles and responsibilities as global citizens. Mike has served on the Board of Directors for Lackawanna Audubon Society and Save The Rainforest.

Mike generously shares his knowledge and expertise with the sanctuary and our supporters for all of us to benefit from the power of connecting more deeply with our planet. Enjoy!

Indraloka Animal Sanctuary  | Mehoopany, PA | www.indraloka.org

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