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Lately, I have been awaking with the dawn, and sometimes even before the sun creeps up. This is a relatively new redevelopment in my life since I stopped milking cows years ago and I have had no “need” to get up hours before sunrise. Now I am taking advantage of the early morning hours to take photographs of the wildlife at a local park. A lot of animals move around more in the early morning and just before dusk which very conveniently coincides with the best light for shooting pictures. Taking photographs slows me down as I walk through the park or when I hike on trails which helps me to take in my surroundings more. Walking in the early morning gets my blood moving and loosens my body up after being in bed for 8 hours or so and makes my morning yoga routine more pleasant because my muscles are warmed up.
For me, being in nature, even in a small park bordered by neighborhoods and within earshot of a major US highway is akin to being in a place of worship. There is a comfort in seeing the profusion of life springing forth from the Earth in the form of vines, shrubs, grasses, trees and the various creatures that find their food and shelter therein. The uninitiated may find all that green blends into a blur that I’ve heard called “green blindness” rendering the viewer overwhelmed and unable to distinguish between the multitudes of plants in their visual field. The more time spent amongst all this green the more visual acuity one develops, or at least that has been my experience. The more I learn about my immediate surroundings, the better off I am in terms of resilience, connectedness, and holistic well being. Deepening our sense of place like this makes it a lot harder to sit passively by while soil, water, and air get polluted. My camera provides me with some of the impetus to get “out there” as does my desire to know the uses of different plants and to see wildlife.
We are the only species that wantonly destroys that systems that give us life. It’s past time to put a stop to processes, industry, and actions that foul our water, deplete our soil, and render the planet uninhabitable. We’ll run out of habit for human beings if we remain so careless.
Starlings displace and out-compete native birds. Perhaps hunting them would help local birds to proliferate once again.
The trophy hunting mentality many hunters have is an absurdity. Hunters should leave animals such as this 8 point buck to live and pass on their genetics to their herds. This buck clearly knows how to survive and thrive even amongst encroaching “development” which are traits that must be passed on. Additionally, the meat from larger more mature male animals like this is tougher and “gamier” than that of younger males and females. Hunters would be better off going after deer like the ones below.