This has been a busy week so far in the evenings after work, so I've had no free daylight time at home at the cabin. Tonight is a free night, and I've told myself that the housework will just have to wait another day.
The sky is blue, the day is clear, and though it's still only morning, I'm already planning to spend most of my evening sitting out on one of the decks, accompanied by binoculars and camera. Sitting and watching is perhaps my favorite outdoor activity.
Most people simply move around too much to really see anything. All that moving creates a lot of noise, and the noise and the motion makes the woodland residents hide. Scouts hike, campers sing around campfires, birding groups see the bird and then move on to the next one. There's nothing wrong with any of that, but it's by no means the most interesting or instructive way to spend time in the woods.
Have you ever watched a deer move through the woods when it's not stressd? They move slowly, stopping often. And birds? When was the last time you actually watched a woodpecker at work? Most of the time they're very deliberate in their excavations.
Move slowly and you're a part of the woods. The woodland residents don't fear your presence and will carry on their own lives while you're out there too. Most of the time, they will happily go about their business while you're out there, and you might well not even need your binoculars. Move quickly, make noise, and in their minds, you're a threat.
I will keep this sermon short (see photo), but my advice is simply: Slow down! Sit. Watch. If you really want to learn about the outdoors, that's the only way.
Oh, and for those of you who didn't get the sermom reference, today's photo is a jack-in-the-pulpit. Happy sitting!