[A post that's perhaps appropriate at the end of the human year...]
We took a few trips to the California coast recently. This estuary [click on photo to see full size] is in Point Reyes National Seashore. I really love the way that the water has formed channels and patterns in the mud. The area is also biologically significant -- the brackish mix of fresh and salt water supported an ecosystem that attracted many birds.
This shot is at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz. I love how it captures the absolutely massive scale of Nature. (There's a person standing on the beach, near the middle.) We stood there and watched clouds blow by, dropping rain and obscuring a sun shining from SO far away.
If there's a time to understand the magic of evolution (or power of God), it must be when we are surrounded by water and wind and storms. Beside being terribly impressed to live in the middle of such a magical, miracle machine that runs on its own accord (tides, waves, rain, animals, etc.), I am terribly depressed that our species has gone from inconsequential (only 100,000 years ago) to very dangerous in the past 200 years.
Why? Mining Nature. Mining oil, water, fish, etc. so that we can live a lifestyle that's unsustainable.
I realize that we are great innovators and excellent adapters, but Nature doesn't work at our speed, and Nature is suffering. (Of course, Nature doesn't need us, and Nature moves last, so I am not worried that we will get off without an "appropriate" retribution.)
Bottom Line: Have a little respect for Nature -- without it, life would be nasty, brutish, short AND ugly.
Random Addendum: XKCD on sea "size" :)