The saleswoman at the birds supplies store was as bewildered at the newest arrival in the shop, as I was. A special, “dove-proof” bird feeder. It was incredible that there are people who want birds in their backyard, but won’t offer any food to the mourning doves, because, well, they don’t like them!
According to that lady, many people hate doves because they are uninteresting, brown, big, or because they don’t like their calls and stances, or, because the flapping sound of their wings disturbs them.
I had heard a similarly bizarre comment about the cottontail rabbits in my backyard. Someone once called them “dirty”, because, well, the bunnies were brown and they, preferred rabbits in white.
These entitled attitudes and childishly callous remarks about the wonderous beings that share a piece of this planet with us, don’t infuriate me, it just astonishes. It makes me sad, and, speechless. Nature and her creations are too grand a phenomenon to be needing any verbal response to such shallow words.
Unlike us, the rest of the natural world is perfect. Much above what we, insignificant, so-called civilized beings think about it. Those who belong there are complete unto themselves (if we let them be and don’t rob them of their natural order of being), mind their own business and don’t have any opinion about us. Not the prisoners of any judgments, perceptions, or even time, all creatures in the wild live a life of almost eternal quality as if there is no beginning or end. And perhaps this gives them dignity and grace, the kind we probably lost a long time ago.
Patron saint of America’s wilderness, John Muir (April 21, 1838-December 24, 1914), wrote the following wholesome words that have never stopped echoing in my heart from the moment I first read them, filled with the timeless wisdom and sophistication of articulation only he was capable of – about an encounter with a bear in Yosemite, for Atlantic Monthly, in the year 1898:
In my first interview with a Sierra bear, we were frightened and embarrassed, both of us, but the bear’s behaviour was better than mine.
While we see a lot of people around us lacking any relation with the rest of nature, or, any sympathy, respect, or regard for the lives that share the sky, air, and earth that we assume to own, there also are those who are well cognizant of the fact that this world is not just for and of humans.
Have you ever heard the scream of a Tasmanian Devil? Not the cartoon character. The real animal. It is the largest carnivorous marsupial, from the island of Tasmania, south of Australia, now endangered. Far from the benevolent disposition of doves or rabbits, this black animal displays frighteningly aggressive behavior and makes ghastly, unearthly screams, particularly at night.
Those haunting screeches alone would keep one away from such a meat-eating animal. And yet, thanks to the altogether enriching “Down to Earth with Zac Efron” – I watched volunteers at the Aussie Ark organization engaged passionately in the rescue and rehabilitation activities of this endangered species – lovingly carrying them around, feeding them, attending to their medical needs, all while constantly facing their terrifying jaws (the strongest bite of any carnivorous mammal in the world,) violent demeanor, and of course, those blood-curdling shrieks. Those visuals let me look at the wildlife conservation efforts in a totally different light, and elevated my respect for those working in the field even more.
The courage and resolve of such conservation champions and the radiance in their hearts is a strong hope for the darkness of ignorance and apathy for nature that humankind has been descending into in modern times. It is for this group of people that I have created yet another exclusive, printable yearly planner/calendar.
Probably you are a concerned environment/wildlife champion, activist, steward, educator, or you are involved in a sustainable business. Or, you simply love nature, for being part of the same nature, loving her could only be our innate response. In all these instances and more, I am hoping that you want to stay inspired and well aware of all the important environmental and wildlife observance dates of the year.
Here is my one-of-a-kind, printable calendar/planner for the year 2023 – meant just for nature lovers and environmentally aware – a New Year’s love letter to nature and her magical kingdom.
It highlights all the wildlife and environmental awareness days celebrated internationally and in the US, and each important day is accompanied by a beautiful photograph of the subject and its official website address for your quick reference.
I am sure you will enjoy using it as much as I have enjoyed creating it, and can’t wait to know your thoughts on it. Download the calendar/planner for free!