Pollination: it’s vital to life on Earth, but largely unseen by the human eye. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg shows us the intricate world of pollen and pollinators with gorgeous high-speed images from his film “Wings of Life,” inspired by the vanishing of one of nature’s primary pollinators, the honeybee.





Before you watch

5 sentences have been removed from the text. Read it and fill in the gaps with sentences a)-e) below.


It’s great being here at TED. You know, I think there might be some presentations that will go over my head, but the most amazing concepts are the ones that go right under my feet. The little things in life, sometimes that we forget about, like pollination, 1. ……………………….. . And you can’t tell the story about pollinators — bees, bats, hummingbirds, butterflies — without telling the story about the invention of flowers and how they co-evolved over 50 million years.

I’ve been filming time-lapse flowers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for over 35 years. To watch them move is a dance I’m never going to get tired of. It fills me with wonder, and it opens my heart. Beauty and seduction, I believe, is nature’s tool for survival, because 2. ……………………………. .Their relationship is a love story that feeds the Earth. It reminds us that we are a part of nature, and we’re not separate from it.

When I heard about the vanishing bees, Colony Collapse Disorder, it motivated me to take action. We depend on pollinators for over a third of the fruits and vegetables we eat. 3. ……………………………. . It’s like the canary in the coalmine. If they disappear, so do we. It reminds us that we are a part of nature and we need to take care of it.

What motivated me to film their behavior was something that I asked my scientific advisers: “What motivates the pollinators?” Well, their answer was, “It’s all about risk and reward.” Like a wide-eyed kid, I’d say, “Why is that?” And they’d say, “Well, because they want to survive.” I go, “Why?” “Well, in order to reproduce.” “Well, why?” And I thought that they’d probably say, “Well, it’s all about sex.” And Chip Taylor, our monarch butterfly expert, he replied, 4. ” ………………………………………………………. .”

And that blew my mind. Because I realized that nature had invented reproduction as a mechanism for life to move forward, as a life force that passes right through us and makes us a link in the evolution of life. Rarely seen by the naked eye, this intersection between the animal world and the plant world is truly a magic moment. 5. ………………………………………………… .


a) It’s the mystical moment where life regenerates itself, over and over again.

b) And many scientists believe it’s the most serious issue facing mankind.

c) that we take for granted

d) Nothing lasts forever. Everything in the universe wears out.

e) we will protect what we fall in love with.


Now watch and check your answers:


Key: 1c; 2e; 3b; 4d; 5a



  • pollination – the process in which pollen is taken from one plant or part of a plant to another so that new plant seeds can be produced
  • pollinator – an agent (such as an insect) that pollinates flowers
  • time-lapse -used to refer to a method of filming very slow actions by taking a series of single pictures over a period of time and then putting them together to show the action happening very quickly
  • to wear out – to use something a lot so that it no longer works, or can no longer be used
  • to blow one’s mind – to surprise, shock, or amaze one


Practice makes perfect

Read the article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/meet-mount-everest-s-meteorologist-q-a/ and decide of the sentences below are

True or False:


1. According to the author of the article, avalanches can be partly predicted.

2. One wouldn’t hire Michael Fagin, a Seattle-based meteorologist, if (s)he were a fearful individual.

3. It’s common for cyclones that form in the Bay of Bengal to bring drizzle to Mount Everest.

4. Verifying how precise his forecast was poses a challenge for the meteorologist.

5. The meteorologist works for 14 hours during climbing season.

6. The meteorologist is never unsure of his forecasts.


Key: 1F; 2T; 3F; 4T; 5F; 6F





  • What images come to mind when you hear the word “spring’?
  • How do you feel when spring arrives? What adjectives would you use to describe the season?
  • What things about spring do you like most and least?
  • Do you always do spring cleaning?
  • What does spring the season have in common with the verb ‘spring’?


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