Posts Tagged ‘Forests’

Make it count!

Mark Fraser is the host and executive producer of "Nature Walks with Mark Fraser"

Let’s face it, life is really short. Regardless of who we are or where we come from we have a brief chance to make the best of our own lives. Appreciating every simple pleasure from a sunrise to a passing bird is the secret sauce to life. We are remembered by our kids and those in which we have made an impression on during our lives. The bigger the impression the longer we are remembered and eventually in time, like a long lost flake of snow belonging to a previous winter we melt away in time returning to the place in which we all came from. What kind of story will they tell about your life, how will you be remembered? How long will that memory of your life last? One generation, perhaps four generations, and then what? How far back in your own family can you remember or know the story of those who came before we did. Paying attention to the elderly is one of the best ways to gain insight and wisdom during our lives but how many of us do. They have so much to teach us and remember they have been through far more “life” then we have. Learning from their experiences helps us navigate in our own lives and knowing the stories that they remember carries the torch of the lessons of so long ago. To many first nations of North America, it’s said that people should try to leave the world better then you found it for the next 7 generations. What a thought, being stewards of the land in such a way that world is protected for so very long after we are gone. There is a lot of wisdom in that. *Making our lives count* and leaving the world better then we find it.

I have to wonder if any of us are really doing that in today’s world.  I myself have a smart phone attached to my hip. What happens when it no longer works and I must dispose of it, where do those hazardous chemicals go? There are so many examples of that in our lives it boggles the mind. Simple innocent ways in which we live our modern life that can unknowingly lead to long term environmental impacts. We have a long, long way to go!

There is good news: you see nature has been around for a very long time. We are the new kids on the block and in the end we are the ones who will live with the choices that we make as a society and as a species.

I very much believe in “hope” itself and I believe deep down we all know that we need to be better stewards of the land. It’s the “what can I do” mentality that makes some of us feel overwhelmed or that there isn’t hope. The truth is you can do plenty! In today’s world information is nothing more then a quick search online. Educate yourself to the simple steps that can be made in your own life to help. Conservation really does start with “you”. Think about that, if we each ensure our own homes make sound decisions then collectively we correct the big picture. That’s what they mean when they say “Think global act local”. Get to know and appreciate the natural world in your own backyard as much as you can because that “is” the world we are trying to protect. In time we will all be a little greener and a lot happier.

Mark Fraser

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Getting to know the world we share

Mark Fraser is the host and executive producer of "Nature Walks with Mark Fraser"

The art of exploration isn’t gone as a matter of fact, it’s alive and well. The trick is simply being curious then satisfying the feeling. Never let anyone tell you any different! There is so much to explore and learn about in the natural world that most people don’t even realize it. Here is an interesting test, the next time you walk through or even near a meadow, see if you can name all the plants you find- good luck.  Is that too tough, try just the wild flowers or perhaps stick with Trees. You will soon realize that there are so many species of life on the planet we share it is completely unimaginable. Did you know that no person on planet Earth can name all the species? Think about that, no PHD from any science could even come remotely close- It is literally impossible. Sure you could learn the Mammals of your own hometown, in most areas it’s a small number probably in the 50s or so and maybe even the native fish well at least maybe the inland freshwater species. Birds are tougher but insects… Just trying to do that in your own home region, is next to impossible. Getting to know the myriad of species is the secret sauce to life. You see when we know what lives all around us suddenly the world opens up and we realize we are sharing this world with so many others. Some of the complex systems of life are like miniature version of a little universe. Look at the Milkweed plant. On that one single type of plant there are Large Milkweed Bugs, Small milkweed bugs (two different species) there are Milkweed Aphids, Long horned Milkweed Beetles, Monarch Larva, Swamp Milkweed beetle and the list goes on. There is different species of Milkweed plants themselves. The complexity is stunning. Even Beavers have parasites that have evolved to live only on them!

So that’s just it, there is plenty to explore. Getting to know the natural world is the best way to begin to protect the wild species that live here. How do we know a species is in trouble, unless we take the time to admire and appreciate their world, our world?  It’s really easy and all starts with a hike or a swim and simply paying attention. When you find a species try to identify it. Learn about its call, its habitat and food source. The more you learn about them the more enlightened you will feel. You can start to memorize bird calls for example. With practice, as you listen to the birds singing you’ll find in time you can suddenly name species that you can’t even see.

It’s a long deep breath of fresh air when you look at the forest with open eyes & mind. Teaching ourselves to reconnect to the natural world brings about wonderful things. Perhaps in time, we can again learn to be stewards of the land, instead of just exploiting it…

Mark Fraser

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Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico what will happen to the wildlife?

Mark Fraser is the host and executive producer of "Nature Walks with Mark Fraser"

The massive Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico is quickly becoming the worst of its kind and soon to wreak havoc on the sensitive Louisianan coastline wetland habitats and species.  Pay close attention to the news reports, because you can bet special interest groups will start telling you “It’s not that bad” and that “it’s too soon to speculate”. Well let’s see, 5,000 barrels of Oil a day dumping into the Ocean – let’s face it, that’s terrible no matter how they try to spin it. This is another prime example of why fossil fuels should become just that, “fossils”, and scientists around the world should work vigorously in developing greener and renewable energy.

What about the wildlife?

Soon we will undoubtedly begin to see the heartbreaking images of countless species who pay the ultimate price for our hunger for fossil fuels. Marine and bird life covered in the viscous sticky oil will be in a dire life threatening situations and no doubt thousands will perish from this horrible man made disaster.

In the future we will be again be asking the questions “Why” and “How could this happen”?  Just like we did after the massive Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, and yet here we are yet again. Wetlands are some of the most important habitats there are. Many species use brackish water estuaries for a safe place to have their babies. Even people who do not seem to care about wildlife at all and only think of the business side of life still admit the economic implications of wiping out a massive fishery. Some time today (Friday April 30th 2010) it’s believed that this slow moving massive slick will reach the coastline. The species that live in the region are in very big trouble. What will “their” world look like from below when the waters surface is covered in the thick black oily film?

Some day we will finally be free of this dependency on fossil fuels. I wonder what people in the future will think about the choices we made. What will they think about statements like “Drill baby drill?” Ironically in the past few weeks the current administration just approved more offshore rigs.

We need to make companies directly responsible for their actions and accountable for their mistakes. A multi million dollar fine for a company making billions does not cut it. We need change, “actual” change, not just someone telling us what we want to hear. Those animals out there don’t have a voice of their own unless you and I give them one, and as we are about to find out, they very much need one…

Mark Fraser

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