Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What A Nature Weekend

Post rain morning with a little mist in the air.

We always anticipate our campsite arrival with much excitement. We look for what is the same and what might be different. We like it to be the same since we already think where we go is perfect. The only thing that stood out were the greeting signs. They seemed more official, larger, brighter yellow, and warned us about bears. Yah, yah, yah.

The weekend was the usual of relaxation under protecting tarps, playing dominoes, good food, catching up and grumbling about politics. A hike here and there and the favorite swimming hole are the activities for each day. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson captures some of our weekend moments. Before we leave and before we call it a night, putting away food items for bear prevention is a ritual. Yah, yah, yah.

Before the weekend was over we did indeed finally see a bear. It was in a field munching away before a photographer scared it away. It was very exciting since some of the folks we were with had never seen a bear before despite a lifetime of being outdoors.

We also came across snakes, big and little, ones we had never seen before. The forest was filled with mushrooms of all types, colors and sizes. Given one of the rainiest summers in history, the old spores took full advantage of it. They were everywhere.

On our last night of playing dominoes, we were visited by a plucky little red fox who sneaked up and grabbed the dog's bone (the dog was exhausted in the tent) within 6 feet of us. Nature was finally a little too close for comfort. But boy was it exciting.

So why all the activity? There is no doubt that wildlife is having to live on less land interspersed with new housing and development which forces them closer to humans. Maybe they are learning to live closer to us. ( I think they were here first but we humans get a little arrogant.) Or maybe it was all chance.

Which ever it was, it was a good reminder that there are animals and such out there, lots of them who depend upon the land and their environment for survival. Each species needs so many acres to survive. They need clean water and available food free from pesticides and chemicals. They need a certain amount of land undisturbed from logging and development. I am not sure we have arrived at all these details yet, but we need to keep working at it so that nature can continue to do its thing.

We had a wonderful weekend for which I am always grateful. This one was particularly special. I felt like nature was talking to me, trying to get me to notice. I think I did too. Brings on a whole new meaning to coexist.

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