|Buttonbush (c) 2013 HVI|
People who choose to go through life with blinders on make me sad. I see so many who wander throughout our world like a train in a tunnel; staring straight ahead. Go, go, and go as fast as you can. Hurry up, you have to be here and you have to be there. No time to stop, just go. You would be amazed at the things you fail to see. Slow down and just take a few moments out of your day to observe the little things that you are passing by.
I’m the one you see out there on the road trying to find someplace to turn around; so I can go back at look at something. Most of the time, it isn't anything of note. But, sometimes it is. Those are the good days. The skill of observation cannot be taught. It must be acquired over a long period of time and like anything of importance; it takes dedication. Unlike most things though; it doesn't cost you a thing. Nope, you don’t have to spend one little dime. The payoff is high and the cost is none. It makes you feel good when you find something new. What more could you ask for?
Have you ever found anything that has never been seen or recorded in your county or region? I have, quite a few times. Was I out there specifically looking for it? No, it was there at the same time I was and I saw it. Nothing has ever been in some exotic, hard to reach destination. Most of my good discoveries have been at some wide-spot in the road; while my dogs were peeing. You do not need one of those funny shirts with all of those empty pockets and a pith helmet to find stuff; as you would be lead to believe on TV. The only things you need are your eyes and the desire to learn. Learning in the outdoor world is a lifetime process. The ability to observe is the critical component in learning.
Now, you are thinking that maybe you’ll give it a try this spring. It is winter now, the landscape is barren and there is nothing out there to see. Nothing could be further from the truth. Go out to that overgrown weedy ditch-line beside your driveway and see just how many kinds of little brown birds you can identify. You will be surprised at the number of species you will encounter. Check out your local pond or lake after every winter storm, uncommon waterfowl species show up every year. Nobody ever knows they are there; unless someone sees them. It could be you.
If everyone would make the effort to give a gift that lasts a lifetime; our world will be a better place. Nature is a gift for all to enjoy. Encourage someone close to you to find the powers of observation. If not, cast the spell upon yourself and say Merry Christmas.
This is my article that first appeared in the December print edition of Two-Lane Livin
(c) 2013 All Rights Reserved Photo (c) 2013 High Virginia Images All Rights Reserved.