When you allow yourself to be fully immersed in the natural world, you find yourself becoming just another creature on a trail. There is no longer a you and a them. There is just us.
You can free yourself of the shackles of humanity and just be at one with your surroundings.
That you got there by car or have a house waiting for you to sleep in afterwards, is irrelevant. Most of the creatures you encounter on the trail are somewhat in search of food, or are resting, or are looking for somewhere safe to spend their next evening.
And so they wander, swim, or fly with purpose. But with a camera in hand, so do I. While my end goals may differ from those around me, I am very much a hunter.
I steal softly though the grasses or trees, quietly and slowly, determined not to disturb my prey with any sudden movements.
My breathing is controlled, my footsteps soft, my eyes in a scanning mode.
It is a wonderful feeling of “one” with nature.
It is … until some fucking moron in a high speed boat screams into view scattering all around him, as they fearfully run for their lives.
Talk about a peace-shattering moment!
Such blatant disregard for the natural environment as they noisily rip the calm surface of the water apart all in the name of what? Recreation, fun? More likely impressing the ladies with the size of his incredible hull. Although the pretty young thing he had as his hood ornament, seemed more interested in the gold she could find up her nose than whatever this guy had to offer.
Do I sound a tad miffed?
Well I am and most definitely was.
I can’t understand why these types of killing machines are allowed in a lake that plays home to some of the most wonderful creatures Florida has to offer.
A killing machine? (I hear you say).
Well, strange you should ask that, because yes. These speed boats tear through the water without even the slightest notion of what is swimming right under the surface. They are blind to any fish, alligators, snakes, or cormorants in their path. It is the equivalent of driving with an eye mask on through a pedestrian zone.
And in case you think I am exaggerating … traveling at 30 mph is moving at 44 feet per second. Which means that from the moment a fish (or whatever) feels the front of the 22 ft boat cutting through the water above them, they have 1/2 of a second to get out of the way of an engine that will almost always mean certain death to them.
If you don’t think this is a regular happening, take a look at the manatees in the Florida waters. An alarmingly high percentage of them are so badly mutilated by propellers. The scarring is outrageous and those are the one that have survived!
No one is measuring the fatalities. For a simple reason … they are not human.
And this is the simple issue that is driving my blog today.
We are very quick to make laws. Things we can and can’t do. These laws are generally a result of protecting humans from humans with almost no laws that protect animals from humans. Yes, there are the obvious ones like animal cruelty but even those laws are minimal and something has to be really severe before any human is held accountable.
And without saying, none of these laws apply to our food chain, so the companies and people that engage in the edible-murdering process, go almost unchecked in that regards.
But I digress. I don’t want to make this about how awful we are to every animal on the planet. Food chain activism is for someone else and another day.
What I do want to make this about is when we attack or uncaringly injure and kill animals in their own natural environment, then we should be held accountable.
Preserves are supposed to protect the creatures therein. Outboard motors run at almost 1,000 revs per minute. Food processors operate at not even twice that (1,700 typically).
So, when these morons drive their Cuisinart up and down the waters on a preserve, how are there no laws to protect anyone in their path?
Now, I know full well that I don’t have an ice-cube’s chance in hell of getting any legislation to protect wild creatures. They don’t have a vote and they can’t voice their hurt. And what am I saying, we can’t even get gun control legislation to stop the loonies from mowing down our kids with their assault rifles.
So, yeah, forget even thinking about asking for some kind of protective legislation.
Plus we’d have the N.O.A. (the National Outboard Association) screaming about how the liberals are trying to take our engines from us. “they can pry this tiller from my cold dead hands” I can hear Charlton Heston now …
(BTW I had to look it up … a tiller is the piece of the outboard motor that you hold onto in order to steer the boat.)
So, anyway, with legal solutions being little more than a fairy tale ending, the real appeal is to our moral compass.
It is morally wrong to hurt any creature (even republicans) for our own entertainment or fun. I don’t care how filthy, smelly, blood-thirsty, or a nuisance they are, all creatures (you thought I was going to say “republicans” again, didn’t you?) have a right to life.
No creature deserves to be held in such disregard that we plow through their world without even a thought as to their safety.
You give me a half-second to get out of the way of an oncoming propeller and I probably don’t even get the time to accept jesus as my lord and savior, before I am removed from this existence.
I probably just about have time to scream out his name before the blades hit, but then there is this huge legal battle to be fought in the courts outside the gates of heaven, as to whether I was actually about to renounce satan or was just caught in mid-expletive.
St. Peter hates those situations. “Another hung jury, send the fucker to limbo”. He only gets to use bad language outside the gates, BTW. There is this automatic “beep” that drowns him out every time he says anything inside.
Anyway, my point is actually quite simple: Please, if you have to equip your boat with an outboard engine in order to get into her bikini, please slow it down just a little. Give the wild-life in front of you a fighting chance to escape your path.
And for gawd sake, stay away from Preserves. We really don’t want nose-pickers putting us off an otherwise good shoot experience.
… just a thought.