What strange times. Isolation in our home is not something we are accustomed to. Not completely — grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, liquor stores and carry out or drive through eating places are open. I have been watching how people adapt and comply with the current rules and suggestions.
Previously I would eagerly shake hands or clap a friend on the shoulder. Now we make close eye contact from a few feet away and use words and facial expressions to protect the relationship and reassure our friend that nothing has changed even though it has.
We can feel the strangeness. At the same time, we can be positive that this too shall pass. We just don’t know when. Or how.
The many acts of kindness and patriotism to make what we have to, take risks with our own lives to help the sick or less fortunate and to feel the thump in our chest as America rises to the challenge makes me proud every day. We always have and always will do these things for each other and ourselves.
God Bless America! You are special people, my friends. Very special people indeed.
I’m very lucky to have several outlets for pent up energy and boredom. My asparagus bed produced the first cuttings yesterday. I have onions and potatoes in the ground and more stuff in the garage. Sandra and I have cleaned drawers and closets vigorously — where does all the stuff come from? My boat is ready to go. I have new line on my reels.
I am going to search for morel mushrooms this year. If anyone has any tips on technique and location please give me a shout. The cameras are loaded with fresh batteries and I have some new and old ideas about pictures. My friend Randy Akings in KC is studying night sky and milky way photography. We have reviewed our camera manuals and settings to maximize the quality of our images.
If this current situation has taught me anything — it is to look for a new or different angle or process to get the best shot. We have wood ducks at Todd’s place and I’m going to be required to set up two pop-up blinds to access all three boxes and the great turtles in his pond. A word of caution — ticks are out. Get the right kind of spray or repellant (especially you mushroom hunters) to keep them away. Tick fever is maybe worse than Covid. It can change your life forever.
Of course, my main passion doesn’t require any change in my life at all. I just get in the little blue Honda with the “Fisheye” license plate and hit the road. It is a brave little thing — 2013 Ridgeline with 197,000 miles.
The wonders of our natural world can keep me busy for a lifetime. The migration is building steam. Lots of shorebirds are here now to keep the ducks company. It is a Walmart door for the ducks — some coming, lots leaving, and way too many just going out to feed and return and continue the courtship. Have you watched Blue-winged Teal do the bobblehead dance in their mating rituals? My friend Mike Blair has elegant footage of that process in his most recent outdoors video. He is such a genius.
I have said all this just to be able to say this. Be careful and tender with our natural world. Visit carefully with our farmers who live for and with the land. They know more about protecting it and it’s creatures than most of us. They feel it breathe and help it produce our food.
We always think about spring and the robins and sparrows and meadowlarks building their nests and cheerfully bringing food to the babies. A small (in comparison) bit of trash discarded by a human spelled tragedy for this little mother who wanted to use it to build her nest. Let’s don’t neglect our trash. You never know.
Stay strong, help your neighbor, and love your family. And pick up your and some other idiots trash.
Doctor Dan Witt is a retired physician and nature enthusiast. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.