Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - 64

Here, Now and Natural

T

HERE'S MORE than enough in our lives to worry about and grieve over. But
there are balms to be had, as close as the grouse cover on a brushy hillside,
the deer woods, or the margins of creeks and ponds.
Get out into nature, which is ever-changing and ever-constant. The seasons
succeed one another, as they always have. Right now, plants, from tiny flowers to
tall trees, are growing leaves and stems and flowers and fruits, pulling in carbon
and releasing oxygen.
In the woods, stop and stand in place. Take a half dozen
or so deep breaths while unfocusing your eyes and building
an awareness of the life-giving greenery surrounding you.
Make a conscious effort to visit natural places. I am fortunate to have always lived within easy reach of them.
That doesn't mean I don't have to give myself a mental
kick in the pants now and then, to stand up and walk
away from the computer and get myself out the door.
One of the first essays I wrote for Game News, back
in the mid-1970s, was titled "Stump Sitting." Its premise was: By closely focusing on your immediate surroundings, you can educate, entertain and immerse
yourself in nature. It's an idea that hasn't lost value. If anything, it has gained
currency and relevance.
A trip up a hill on a clear summer night is an excursion into beauty and drama.
Look up into the heavens and see stars, ancient suns emitting light that is millions
of years old, only now reaching Earth. Observe the closer twinkling of fireflies.
Appreciate it as one more facet of nature's beauty - or as the outward signals of a
drama in which females of one insect species lure in males of a different species
on which to prey. Nature is like that, of course. Life builds itself out of other life.
Look for the quiet flitting of a bat. Listen for the winnowing of a snipe, or a
deer snorting, or a screech-owl's whinnying call.
Remember that you, too, are a part of nature. Keep it in the back of your mind
as you work to open your senses. It will let you smell more keenly - whether the
rot of marsh muck or the fragrance of flowers.
It also will predispose you to vividly, lovingly see, for instance, that beautiful
scarlet tanager, and hear and feel the things that are here and now and natural.
Know they will help keep you human, humane, and sane.

64



Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - 5
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Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - 7
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Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - 11
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Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - 21
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Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - 28
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Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2020 - Cover4
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