Nature is Watching

“People will stare, make it worth their while.”

― Harry Winston

I love Harry Winston’s advice, which speaks so much to my aversion of being in the spotlight. Interestingly, Harry was a famous American jeweler who donated the mesmerizingly beautiful Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institute – a gem that pulled me toward it’s location in the Museum of Natural History many time over growing up in the nation’s capital.

Clearly, this hawk, whom I suspect is a juvenile red-tail, made my staring worth the while. And how I hope my time spent documenting the beauty of this creature and all the others I share here are worth your while. Nature is a jewel which we’ve recognized as worthy of creating refuges for. What we so often forget is how our hearts and minds are offered refuge when we take time to visit them – refuges are as much for the animals as they are for us.

We are animals.

As the most dangerous species roaming the planet, we need to be drawn like moths to a flame to the beauty of the natural world lest we destroy it and ourselves. 

How does the hawk’s gaze speak to you? If all the eyes of the natural world were sizing up your actions, what would you do?

It’s a question that I’m asking myself while on a working vacation near the Bosque del Apache in an Airbnb stocked on my behalf with single-use plastic water bottles – bottles I’ve mindlessly taken along with me on my trips to the refuge the last two days. How easy it was to become stupid while stepping outside the boundary of my set routine. I know better. I know it’s not enough to simply recycle. I know unconscious choices like this must be hunted down and transformed into life sustaining behaviors.

I’m not beating myself up, I’m paying attention to my mutable idiocy.

I think we’re all exhausted and wishing for the world to make sense. I’m wrung out by the news and sick of the ease with which everyone’s feathers get ruffled in a Sea of Opinion. Opinion is meaningless if it fails to trigger action. We must do something. Every single day we must take the time to know what it is we are capable of doing and then, do it. 

I’ve seen hawks make many unsuccessful attempts to catch their prey. They aren’t perfectionists. They continue to pursue their dinners because their huger creates a deep sense of urgency. It’s a matter of survival in the balance of nature. It’s just that simple.

The first step: Slow down long enough to notice the way things truly are. It’s not a pleasant process, given the state of the environment, but if we refuse to see this aspect of reality for what it is, we’re doomed to a lack of urgency. 

The world we rely on is staring us down. Let’s make it worth all our while and take appropriate urgent action now.

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

― Jane Goodall

Photo Credits:  Stare Down with a Red Tail by Susan J. Preston, Bosque del Apache, NM © 2019, all rights reserved
Technical: Fuji XT-3 | 560mm (XF 100-400MM F4.5-5.6 R ML OIS WR with 1.4x) | 1/640 | F8 | ISO 2000