Plant Comic 001“The Earth laughs in flowers.” ~Emerson

I was excited to share with you some nature related cartoons that I just scanned into my computer, but I was unable to upload most of them. Perhaps the funniest of the lot shows a group of caribou approaching the Alaska pipeline, then doing the “limbo” under the partial barrier with a reindeer band playing along.

Environmental jokes usually don’t make the rounds on late night talk shows. Messrs. Kimmel and Colbert would much rather poke fun at people, personalities, and politicians, though each of them might make a few cracks about nature every Earth Day. To find good humor about environmental matters, you need to look in the newspapers in both the comics and the editorial pages. Some folks think that environmental cartoons have only been around since creative genius Gary Larson entered the world of pen and ink. Actually, potent ecological drawings existed even in the 1940’s.

I think it was Vincent Norman Peale who wrote the book, “Laughter is the Best Medicine.” So true! Research has shown (oh, to have a job conducting laughter studies!) that laughter really is contagious. The sound of laughter triggers regions in the premotor corical region of your brain, which is involved in moving your facial muscles to correspond with a sound. It is thought that laughter may have occurred before humans could speak as a way of strengthen group bonds, as even today our brains are wired to prime us to smile or laugh when we hear others laughing.

Perhaps it is easier to laugh outdoors then indoors. Watching fawns jump and play, going to a swimming spot and frolicking in a stream, or even sitting around the campfire, these can all bring out smiles and the gigglies.

Laughter is yet another reason to spend time in nature, and with someone, as social laughter is 30 times more frequent than solitary laughter. However happy we may feel, laughter is a signal we send to others and it virtually disappears when we lack an audience.

If you feel in a laughing mood as you read this, find a friend and both of you please Google + gulen..and as the tagline says, see if you don’t laugh. ~ while watching this video.