I thought I might be able to escape all the madness this morning by taking me and my camera off on a trail. But when I got to Circle B, the gates were shut.
I am sure there is logic in someone’s mind as to why they felt they had to keep all us contaminated folk off the trails but frankly, I would have thought nature trails are among the most isolated ways of enjoying life that us humans could possibly have.
I sat there dumb-founded in my car for a moment and decided I would take myself off to Lake Parker. There are no gates there so they would be unable to spoil my fun.
The main access road to the lake was blocked by the police, but undeterred, I found a little back road that took me down to the water’s edge.
As I stood there, I realized that there wasn’t really much worth shooting from where I was (I really should have been on the opposite side of the lake at that time of the day).
The sun in my eyes blinded most decent shots of creature that I could have taken and so I cursed under breath that the gods were really conspiring against me this morning.
Above my head on a high wire, I heard the chirping of grackles who seemed to be engaged in a conversation all of their own. Did they even know of the stresses that the human world seems to have devolved into this past few weeks, I wondered. Probably not.
I took a few pics of them and their friends and attach them at the end of this blog. But as the thought of their communications played around in my head, I added some words to them … words that perhaps they were thinking of but reluctant to say out loud.
Hope you like!
But in the meantime, driving home in the car I played with the question of what would they really think if they knew what was going on down here on the ground?
I mean, we tend to give creatures no credence for having thoughts like us. And to a certain degree, perhaps they don’t. I mean I can’t imagine any feather-brained idiot imagining that his response to this pandemic rates a 10 out of 10.
But beyond the whole current craziness, what do creatures really think about us humans?
The thought that is most commonly obvious throughout nature is that they fear us. They nearly always run from us, even when we are not their normal predator.
Some might think it is our size that draws the fear but we have all seen cattle egrets and such living symbiotically with cows. So it can’t be that.
I like to think that the creatures that visit my back yard every night know that I am their friend and that they have nothing to fear. But I think that is mainly a fanciful exaggeration in my own mind.
While the cardinals have progressively been getting closer to me each evening as I lay out the food, the raccoons, possums, and squirrels all stay well hidden until I am gone.
But beyond fear, what do the wild creatures of our planet think of us?
Do they see us as a violent and destructive species? Do they understand that we pollute the planet and destroy the environment all in the name of greed?
Do they see us as intelligent as we see ourselves?
Or do they just accept our dominance and the inevitable wiping out of all other species in our quest for supreme idiocy?
In recent years, I often mused over the lack of language translation between human and animal.
We have developed software that can translate any human language to any other, and we have developed artificial intelligence that could easily take us well beyond such direct communications.
But have you ever wondered why Dr Doolittle remains a pure fantasy?
How could we ever explain our behavior to any creature, if we were to ever understand their communications?
How could we slaughter them in their millions in order to gorge ourselves in their flesh?
How could we perform experiments on them so that we can manufacture the latest scent that drives men crazy?
How could we inject them with poisons and play god with mutations in order to increase our ongoing desire for eternal life?
How could we harpoon and slaughter the ones even we regard as being extremely intelligent and social in pursuit of … who fucking cares!!!
The liberties that we take with the creatures that inhabit this planet with us are based on the mistaken belief that we are superior to them and that some god wrote in a book that they are here on this planet for our purposes.
But worse still, they are based on a deliberate refusal to accept that these creatures think, feel, and fear on at least the same level we do. And their inability to communicate with us allows us to commit unspeakable cruelties to them.
When Dr Doolittle was written, the notion of communication with creatures lived only in the minds of fantasy writers.
But there is a legal notion now on our books, called Willful Blindness … essentially even if we don’t know something, but we really should have, given all the evidence around us … then we can be found guilty of being willfully blind.
How farcical is it that we acknowledge it as a legal responsibility and yet we turn a blind eye to almost everything cruel or destructive that we inflict on the planet and the creatures we share it with?
I don’t believe in there being such a thing as a final reckoning. But god help humanity, if we are ever held accountable for what we have done to this planet, to each other, or to the wonderful creatures that value their lives as we do our own.
Shame on us.