Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wildlife - The Whole Point


Fir cones rained down on me this morning as I walked our gravel road in the woods. I don't know what goes on in the mind of a squirrel, but fall is in the air. I guess one of my tree-hugging friends woke up inspired today.

This squirrel is working frantically to cache a winter food supply. Within a few hours it will strip hundreds of cones from nearby trees. Then in a few days it will come back and gather them one-at-a-time and stash them in a bunch of safe places, remembering each cache so it can chew on those cones for nourishment during the lean winter months.

On my forest walks I think a lot about what makes Whidbey Island special. Some might say it's the views of the water, forests and farmland, but I believe it's the wildlife. We live among everything from Gray Whales to Great-horned Owls to Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies.

From time to time, we all yearn to be close to nature, to walk in the cool forest and observe wildlife in their natural setting, and marvel at their adaptive ingenuity. On Whidbey, it is our great blessing to live among those creatures every day of our lives.

To live on the island without being curious about wildlife is to miss the whole point. The more we notice and understand what the wildlife are doing, the more richly rewarding and meaningful our own lives become.

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