Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Sixth Ethic......

Yesterday a fellow Trainer and I had the opportunity to teach the Front Country guidelines of Leave No Trace to a group of scout leaders at a Scouting Success seminar. For the most part they were very open to what we had to say, but one fellow laughed a bit, made a joke here and there, and finally aid "I want to embrace this, but I'm having a hard time wrapping myself around this whole "Respect Wildlife" concept!". Personally, I don't see why anyone would need any help grasping the concept, but for those not in the know, here's what the 6th ethic sates:

Respect Wildlife

  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
  • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
  • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
  • Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
  • Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.

So.....Whats so hard to understand? It seems to me that it's all rather straight forward. Take a look at the picture above, I took that a few days ago.2 Does, 2 bucks and a fawn. Now usually you don't see bucks, and if you do it's only for a few seconds before they crash through the forest in what can only be called a perfect display of self preservation. But these deer, they saw me in my golf cart, and they had absolutely no concern over my presence whatsoever. These deer have obviously had too much exposure to humans and civilization. I will be very surprised if I don't see any of them on the side of the road this season.

The Sixth ethic is one of the most important I think, and one of the most abused. I am of the opinion that if we, as a people, cant respect wildlife? Well then, we have no right to be in the wilderness at all.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Getting to know you ♪ ♫......

Like my new friend? I was driving across campus in my trusty golf cart when I happened upon this fellow getting a sun bath. For the 15 minutes or so I sat with him (no closer than this mind you) he made no defensive posturing towards me, none at all.

Copperheads are very common in our area; in fact, they are the only venomous snake to be found in this part of North Carolina Rattlesnakes to left of us and cottonmouths and coral snakes to the right), but I haven't seen one in "the wild" for a very long time.

Resilient little critters; as I was watching him, a bike rider came along, and before I could warn him, completely ran over him with both tires! But I think that it happened so fast that he wasn't really hurt in the least bit, because he just sort of looked around like "What in the heck was that?!?" and went about his snakely duties. I sat with him for another 5 minutes or so, just to make sure he was O.K, and then shooed him off the trail and back into the woods so he would not get into trouble with all the people who use this greenway.

A few friends of mine of FaceBook declared me insane for not lopping his head off, but why? How is it my duty, my obligation -my right- to kill him? Is he in my house? Is he threatening my family? No! In fact, were in HIS house, threatening HIS family! He has more right to be there than any of the people who use that greenway, and instead of killing him, they should give him a very wide berth, and leave him alone.