One morning, I sat in the sand watching two ducks swim on Lake Tahoe. I was struck by how calm it was and began wondering about the nature of nature.

Is nature more peaceful or more chaotic?

I remembered seeing a snake attack a mouse in Baja. But events like that were rare. The vast majority of my time in nature has been peaceful.

I used to assume that nature was ruthless. I rarely turn on Animal Planet to see ducks swimming on a calm lake. Instead, I’m captivated by footage of a shark attacking a seal, probably because paying attention to rare events like attacks has helped my genes survive (and helps Animal Planet sell ads).

I’m pretty sure nature is a lot more peaceful than most people assume. Perhaps it’s humans that are chaotic.