News & Classical Music from Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Outdoors: Quid pro quo

A bee sits on a white flower
Canva

In the movie musical "High Society," Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly sang the Cole Porter tune "True Love."

"I give to you and you give to me," or in other words, quid pro quo.

This Latin phrase, which had political overtones several years ago, translates as “something for something,” and it describes countless relationships in nature.

Take, for example, bees and flowers.

The bees sip sweet nectar or collect the protein-rich pollen they need to raise their young.

The flowers are pollinated, and consequently are able to produce seeds.

Insects do something for plants, and in exchange, plants do something for insects: quid pro quo.

Or, think of sweet, juicy fruits, fruits filled with seeds, or perhaps, pits.

Birds or mammals gulp the fruit whole, and later, significantly, they jettison the seeds some distance from the parent plant.

The fruit trees or shrubs provide a sweet, nutrient-rich meal, and the creatures disperse the seeds.

Underground fungi absorb water and nutrients, which they transfer to the tree roots with which they are entwined.

The tree provides the food the fungus needs to survive: quid quo pro — something for something.

We give money to IPR, and IPR gives us music and news and interviews and essays and weather and concert schedules and broadcasts of local performances and a connection to Interlochen.

We give to IPR and IPR gives so very much to us.

"Outdoors with Coggin Heeringa" can be heard every Wednesday on Classical IPR.