Flowers

Provisions

English is a language with an extensive vocabulary, and yet many words are used in different contexts to contain a range of meanings.

Provisions (noun): the act of supplying something for use. It could be a donation, or an agreement around services to be rendered.

Provisions (verb): to allocate beings with food, drink, or equipment, especially for a journey.

As cute as squirrels are, humans have not domesticated them as a species. Squirrels will happily share space with us in urban gardens, but with two hands to hold onto a store of nuts foraged from the environment, this Tree Squirrel still knows the freedom of gathering enough to provide a quick and immediate nibble as well as how to keep supplies in reserve for hungrier times.
Dogs, on the other hand, have left behind their wolf ancestry to feed off our human belief that we are the providers, the controllers of the food chain. They have trained us to scavenge on their behalf for the duration of their lives.
Give feral cats an option between snacking on snails and lizards in the bush, or consuming our processed dry chicken cubes and they soon become acclimated to our non-organic ways.
At the other end of the spectrum, many small beings have a much greater knowledge of which plants are providers than humans may ever know. Plant material goes in and out of this caterpillar in his determined drive towards transformation.
Caterpillars process all that plant material into provisions for Redbilled Hornbills and many other species and so do not always manage to reach the next phase of their development.
This Southern Fiscal Juvenile is learning about provisions. Within four months Juveniles are ready to leave their parents’ territory and fend for themselves from the earth’s bounty.
Those caterpillars that do survive become some of the most beautiful flying people. Here one such beauty is pictured with her proboscis deeply inserted into a lavender bush. Life continues after her period of cocooned transformation and nectar is provided to this Painted Lady.
The beings on land are not the only provisions. Fisherman go out to sea in fair hope of feeding their families.
Other beings, such as this cormorant, are also well equipped to make use of fish as a source of energy. We can learn from them how to take what is needed only.
The earth feeds all of us, but unfortunately there is not much of nutritional value left in the things humans leave lying around.
Even nature’s thorny food is far more digestible than the waste humans create.
Some lambs get born in the depth of cold winter rain storms and may be discarded by inexperienced mothers. The farmers try to save as many of these lambs as they can. On this particular farm our discarded single use plastic bottles are given a second chance at usefulness by becoming milk containers to fulfil a life saving role.

All around us every day we are faced with providers and provisions. Do we remember the chain of life that brings us to where we are? Are we happy in what we have? These are some of the questions that may help us to understand the need to be respectful when playing but a small part in millions of years of events.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

A good place to take close up views of the fingers and toes, fists, feet, and even facial hair, of the plants surrounding us.

Images created with Canon 1D mark iii, L lens zoom 28-135 , and Kenko 36mm Extension tube. Late afternoon, minimal light, ISO 3200.