Reflection: Interspecies Relationships
Santa Cruz Island
By Andrea Chase (05/24/10 17:18:22)
Related animals: Anemone, Bald Eagle, Bird, Dolphin, Fish, Fox, Garibaldi, Human, Hummingbird, Hump Back Whale, Humpback Whale, Marine Invertabrate, Mosquito, Mosquito Eater, Pond Life, Quail, Raven, Sea Urchin, Seagull, Seal, Shark, Star Fish, Tadpole, Tree, Turkey, Whale

Above is the list of all the animals our class saw and coincidentally interacted with on Santa Cruz island. On the whole I would say that we did not do a spectacular job at treating the animals as equals or partners in our interactions. I personally know that I could not overcome my shock, awe, and excitement upon visitation from the various creatures on and around the island. Despite the fact that I could not immediately curb my "natural" reaction to react to the animals, I am proud of the the fact that I have developed a certain consciousness about my integrity in interacting with animals.
On a different note the trip on a whole was wildly successful in having fun and creating a new conscious awareness concerning human affects on animals. Personally I feel a different consensus about my perception of every animal. The trip has helped me to adapt a universalistic attitude toward all life, something I have always tried to adhere to due to Buddhist philosophies. In terms of the animals I did not do much collaborating through art work. The only blatant moment of artistic interaction producing a tangible piece was when a beautiful orange and red dragonfly felt inclined to investigate me allowing me to draw him for a subsequent 20 minutes or so. In the likes of performance art one could say our adventure swimming with tadpoles at the swimming hole could function as such. Additionally while at the swimming hole, above the waterfall itself, I had the pleasure of watching the natural order of swallows guarding and feeding their young. Serena felt particularly inspired to build a nest for them, but then soon after realized that we had neither the supplies or the original innovation tied to the idea.
The experience itself was so fulfilling I cannot begin to truly describe how I felt or what I experienced. Only a mere 3 days felt like a week. An adventurously wonderful weekend played out with hiking, climbing, napping, and celebrating, and the animals seemed to want to interact with us at every corner.

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