Lessons learned

I happened upon a group of birders yesterday. Well, to be more precise, they happened upon me.  I had been in this spot on the trail a few minutes before they came along. There were a couple things that caught my attention in this spot. One was the Pine Warbler that was extremely vocal in the tree above my head, and the other was an enormous patch of Trout Lilly in full bloom that was just off the trail across from me. These gentlemen were all eagerly trying to catch a glimpse of the Pine Warbler; all the while they were stomping down the patch of Trout Lilly. The incident got me thinking how specialized we become in our dedication to any given pursuit. (A subject I talked about in my HM Newsletter article) The allure of one obsession can blind us to the rest of the world around us. I’m sure the patch of Trout Lilly will come back just fine; at that moment however, I felt as though I should have said something but when it came right down to it … I didn’t have the nerve to. However I didn’t let this lesson go to waste, what this event did do was it got me thinking about myself and how many proverbial flowers am I stepping on while I’m fixated on something else, be it an object in my binoculars or an objective in life. Those guys were just pursuing their passion; it’s something that we all do. I don’t think that I’ll ever be inclined to yell, “Hey … get out of the flowers!” but after really thinking this situation over, I know I could have positively intervened had I taken the initiative to do so.  I could have said the following “ Good morning Gentlemen … Would you listen to that Pine Warbler up there, and check out that patch of Trout Lilly right there.” Had I said this I’m sure that I would not be writing this right now. You see, I’m sure these guys were good people with a great appreciation of nature, and I’m sure that if the Trout Lilly patch was brought to their attention, that they would not have been walking in them.  I had the opportunity to prevent the Trout Lilly’s from being flattened without offending anyone, while potentially planting a seed of appreciation or interest in someone else. I passed on the opportunity, so in the grand scheme of life, the Trout Lilly’s weren’t flattened because those guys stepped all over them, rather because I was right there and didn’t take the initiative to intercede. All the blame lies on me, and I’ll consider it a lesson learned.



3 thoughts on “Lessons learned

  1. Mark, I think that you may have missed another opportunity…did you invite them to join HM crew on the May 5th Hike? I don’t ever see many people while walking the Ortonville woods, but sometimes I do, and they usually like to talk. If I have an extra, I give them one of Rob’s maps of the area, if not I give them my own. Even though it’s only a 8-1/2 x 11 color copy they leave very happy, and hopefully will track HM down on the web or FB and download a nice spring flower info sheet!

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