For granted.

Yesterday was one of those days that just fried my brain and by around 4 in the afternoon, I was exhausted.

At that stage, I faced the prospect of quitting work and heading up to where the sofa would happily give rest to my body until it was time to go to bed. I had done this earlier in the week after the Miami trip and the grueling day Monday where I just couldn’t catch up with all that needed to be done.

So, looking at a third day of just collapsing until bed time, really didn’t have much appeal. I needed a different end to the day or else I would begin to question what I was doing with the twilight years of my life.

I grabbed the camera and with enough daylight to cover one of the trails there, I headed off to Circle B and took the trail that circled back onto Lake Hancock.

I can’t remember the last time I was on that route in an evening. It is my favorite path for sunrise and watching the creatures gearing up for a new day and catching their breakfast.

So by this time of the day, the sun was long gone from the lake and my expectations of getting any noteworthy shots was quite low. But it presented a walk that could be done in the time left before sunset and it also met my prime objective, being to fill my lungs with fresh air away from a sofa.

Herons were out in force but the majority of all creatures seemed to be settling down for the night. A large number of birds seemed to have found their place to roost for the night and presented little real opportunity to be shot in an engaging way. Thankfully, there were a few stragglers that gave some purpose to the heavy lens I was carrying and I have a selection of shots here at the end of the blog of herons, butterflies, turtles, and a happy little gator who I just couldn’t get to face the camera for me.

As I finished the part of the trail that ran along the side of the lake and did the last half mile back to where I had parked, I spotted a couple of Anhingas that had bedded down for the night on the branches of a big old tree that stretched its limbs out over the lake. I just stopped for a moment and looked at them and I thought about how sheltered and safe we humans are in not having to worry about being part of the food chain.

There is a certain degree of comfort we get when we close our eyes and pull up the blanket each night, that the vast majority of creatures in the wild never get.

Yes, there is the vague possibility that we might die in our sleep, but more likely than not the odds are in our favor that we will open our eyes again in the morning and another day will begin.

The chances of being eaten while we are sleeping, or falling off a branch into an alligator’s mouth below, are pretty low in most houses in suburbia.

And it got me thinking while I took the drive home, how we go through life taking things for granted that most of the planet wishes they could.

We take people in our lives for granted until they are gone …. that’s the big one that is obvious to most of us immediately. As soon as we lose someone, that reality slaps us in the face.

But there are far more things that we just assume will be always be there when we need them. We assume we will always have enough food and even choices in food. Much of the planet goes hungry.

And when we have a roof over our head, a job, money, we just take for granted that these will always be there too.

Health is something that almost everyone takes for granted until one day it is gone. Health worries are mainly the domain of old folk.

In each of these instances, there is someone around to wag their finger at us and warn us against the follies of taking any of these for granted. They can point to real life instances of loss and we all go “ooh, how awful.” We can empathize with others that have already experienced such losses. And in the empathy, we are reminded not to take such things for granted.

But what really struck me as I drove home was how almost everyone takes the planet for granted. And there is no one around who has lost it to where we can empathize. So, the argument relies on us being able to listen with intelligence to an argument that talks about global warming, greenhouse gasses, reliance on depleting fossil fuels, and so on.

But therein lies the problem!

Understanding all the other losses that were taken for granted, requires no intelligence. Even the biggest dumbass on the planet can empathize with losing a parent or a child, or a job, or a home. No intelligence is needed … there are so many examples around, you would have to be a sociopath not to be able to identify with such losses.

But it takes some degree of effort to understand global warming. You have to have a slight modicum of intelligence and a willingness to put some effort into understanding the fine balance of ecosystems that keeps our planet as a suitable host for life.

Here in America this rules out 74,222,958 adults who think it is all a hoax because the dotard on fox news once told them so. Not to mention the idiots cutting down the rainforests in south America, or the huge coal burners in Asia that think net-zero carbon is for flaming liberals to worry about.

Optimists keep thinking the young generations in schools right now will save the planet …. look at all the information being give to them! They will fix everything that us old folks turn a blind eye to.

Truth is, they have been hanging hopes on the young generations for decades. But then they too become old and greedy and self-involved and devolve into new conservatives that rank making money as more important than saving the planet.

Saving this planet requires the intelligence to understand what is happening and the will to make changes that can alter the outcome.

Without both, all that happens is those flaming liberals keep making noise about it and conservatives just keep tuning into fox news.

… just a thought.