Animals do many different, amazing things to get through the
winter. Some of them "migrate." This means they travel to other
places where the weather is warmer or they can find food.
Many birds migrate in the fall. Because the trip can be
dangerous, some travel in large flocks. For example, geese fly
in noisy, "V"-shaped groups. Other kinds of birds fly alone.
How do they know when it is time to leave for the winter?
Scientists are still studying this. Many see migration as part
of a yearly cycle of changes a bird goes through. The cycle is
controlled by changes in the amount of daylight and the weather.
Birds can fly very long distances. For example, the Arctic
tern nests close to the North Pole in the summer. In autumn, it
flys south all the way to Antarctica. Each spring it returns
Most birds migrate shorter distances. But how do they find
their way to the same place each year? Birds seem to navigate
like sailors once did, using the sun, moon and stars for
direction. They also seem to have a compass in their brain for
using the Earth's magnetic field.
Other animals migrate, too. There are a few mammals, like
some bats, caribou and elk, and whales that travel in search of
food each winter. Many fish migrate. They may swim south, or
move into deeper, warmer water.
Insects also migrate. Some butterflies and moths fly very
long distances. For example, Monarch butterflies spend the
summer in Canada and the Northern U.S. They migrate as far south
as Mexico for the winter. Most migrating insects go much shorter
distances. Many, like termites and Japanese beetles, move
downward into the soil. Earthworms also move down, some as far
as six feet below the surface.
Some animals remain and stay active in the winter. They must
adapt to the changing weather. Many make changes in their
behavior or bodies. To keep warm, animals may grow new, thicker
fur in the fall. On weasels and snowshoe rabbits, the new fur is
white to help them hide in the snow.
Food is hard to find in the winter. Some animals, like
squirrels, mice and beavers, gather extra food in the fall and
store it to eat later. Some, like rabbits and deer, spend winter
looking for moss, twigs, bark and leaves to eat. Other animals
eat different kinds of food as the seasons change. The red fox
eats fruit and insects in the spring, summer and fall. In the
winter, it can not find these things, so instead it eats small
Animals may find winter shelter in holes in trees or logs,
under rocks or leaves, or underground. Some mice even build
tunnels through the snow. To try to stay warm, animals like
squirrels and mice may huddle close together.
Certain spiders and insects may stay active if they live in
frost-free areas and can find food to eat. There are a few
insects, like the winter stone fly, crane fly, and snow fleas,
that are normally active in winter. Also, some fish stay active
in cold water during the winter.
Some animals "hibernate" for part or all of the winter. This
is a special, very deep sleep. The animal's body temperature
drops, and its heartbeat and breathing slow down. It uses very
little energy. In the fall, these animals get ready for winter
by eating extra food and storing it as body fat. They use this
fat for energy while hibernating. Some also store food like nuts
or acorns to eat later in the winter. Bears, skunks, chipmunks,
and some bats hibernate.
Cold-blooded animals like fish, frogs, snakes and turtles
have no way to keep warm during the winter. Snakes and many
other reptiles find shelter in holes or burrows, and spend the
winter inactive, or dormant. This is similar to hibernation.
Water makes a good shelter for many animals. When the weather
gets cold, they move to the bottom of lakes and ponds. There,
frogs, turtles and many fish hide under rocks, logs or fallen
leaves. They may even bury themselves in the mud. They become
dormant. Cold water holds more oxygen than warm water, and the
frogs and turtles can breath by absorbing it through their skin.
Insects look for winter shelter in holes in the ground, under
the bark of trees, deep inside rotting logs or in any small
crack they can find. One of the most interesting places is in a
gall. A gall is a swelling on a plant. It is caused by certain
insects, fungi or bacteria. They make a chemical that affects
the plant's growth in a small area, forming a lump. The gall
becomes its maker's home and food source.
Every type of insect has its own life cycle, which is the way
it grows and changes. Different insects spend the winter in
different stages of their lives. Many insects spend the winter
dormant, or in "diapause." Diapause is like hibernation. It is a
time when growth and development stop. The insect's heartbeat,
breathing and temperature drop. Some insects spend the winter as
worm-like larvae. Others spend the winter as pupae. (This is a
time when insects change from one form to another.) Other
insects die after laying eggs in the fall. The eggs hatch
into new insects in the spring and everything begins all over
BUT NO ANIMAL DIES
BECAUSE OF THE WINTER
This is the Rabubiyat of Allah
Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala
لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ
soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear
(Holy Quran 2: 286)
Meaning of the
in Arabic stands for nourisher, cherisher, and sustainer.
According to Raghib, an Arab lexicologist, the word rabb
signifies "the fostering of a thing in such a manner as to make
it attain one condition after another until its goal of
Our Lord is He who
gave unto everything its form, and then guided it aright. (TAHA;
This is rahmah,
mercy, from the rabbul alamin.
The love and mercy of
Allah towards His creatures surpasses, in quantity and quality,
the love of both the father and mother put together. From the
birth to the last breath everything in the universe depends upon
the rububiyat, the nourishing, cherishing, sustaining and
protecting aspect of the mercy of the Lord of the worlds. No
single English word to give the meaning of the word rabb
could be found, but "Lord" seems to be the only alternative.
begins to operate as early as the will to create a being
takes effect, and continues to nurture the created being with
love, care and never-ceasing vigilance, providing all its needs
according to the changes it goes through. It is like a
self-imposed duty to guide the creature to make conscious
efforts to avoid harm and avail profit.
"Verily, We have
created everything by (the right) measure". (QAMAR: 49)
for the living beings, all over the universe, in all times, are
available to satisfy various wants and needs. The quality and
quantity of the "resources" have been determined according to
the collective requirements of all that which has been created.
Some things are rare, some things are plentiful, but at all
events nothing is less or more. A thoughtful study of the
complex of "things" brings the obvious fact to light that there
is only one single owner master who has set the wonderfully
harmonious working of the universe in motion, allowed life to be
created, and in addition, enabled each and every creation to put
into effect the aim of its being brought into existence.
Imam Ali ibn abi
Talib had said:
conditioned and circumstanced the operation of all that has been
created under precise (self) regulating laws, in the sphere of
time and space, made their unlike, complex and diverse
dispositions agree and fit well together, implanted and infused
rhythm and balance and co-ordination in their nature, to give
them the inbuilt discipline that follows an orderly system. (NAHJ