Where Did All the Wildlife Go?

 As a busy society that seems to focus on arriving to our destinations in the quickest time possible, I don’t think we often realize how that conditioned behavior translates when we are out exploring nature.

Sika doe and fawn. Image by Ms. Mallory Adventures

Our heavy packs and clunky boots. A somewhat fast pace and idle chatter with friends. These things can easily scare away animals we are so intrigued to to see.

 

 

 

Imagine you are an animal that is constantly being hunted and rely on your constant alertness to keep you safe. You hear something in the distance that is approaching with urgency. . .

Fast, heavy steps are getting closer and closer. . .

What you you do?

RUN, of course!

 

Now imagine you are eating and you hear what sounds like footsteps, but they are slow and soft sounding. No sense of urgency, just an easy pace like most of the other creatures walking through the terrain.

Now what will you do? . . .Probably continue eating until the ‘creature’ is close enough for you to investigate better.

 

The elusive hump-nosed lizard in the Knuckles Conservation Forest
The elusive hump-nosed lizard in the Knuckles Conservation Forest. Image by Ms. Mallory Adventures

Although there are times we get lucky and find a creature sunbathing on a rock or staying still after being startled, hoping their camouflage will save them from being seen, but usually they all will try to flee (or sometimes fight) at any given opportunity when you approach too close.

However, if we can take our time and allow ourselves to melt into our surroundings (not trying to sound too ‘groovy’), wildlife will more often than not see our presence as non threatening and go about their routine.  This is what we aim for.

For some, this can happen over night, but for most (myself included) it is a skill that needs forming.  Here are few exercises that can help:

  1. Sit on a bench or under a tree and just watch.  This can be really difficult for children and people with short attention spans, like me. However, I have done this numerous times and am always rewarded with birds pecking by my feet or a curious squirrel coming to investigate.  The key is to be away from noisy people and spend at least 30 min at a time.

2.  Don’t give yourself a time limit when going for a hike.  Take your time to go slow and really look at your surroundings.

3. Visit the same place often.  This exercise will get you familiar with your surroundings and where animals like to congregate.  This is also good for the animals to get used to your scent (yes, you smell) and get more comfortable with your presence.

4. Try planning your outings during the ‘golden hours’ of the day, dawn and dusk.  Many animals are very active during this time.

5.Create a wildlife menagerie in your backyard.  I am sure you have heard the saying, ‘Build it and they will come’. . .Well, it is more true than you know. This is a great way to learn animal behavior in the comforts of your home. **I will be working on this soon myself and will show you my progress.

**As always, practice safety when exploring the outdoors and never do something you are not comfortable with.  It is always a smart idea to travel with a buddy and tell others where you will be traveling to.

I also do not condone, or suggest, feeding wildlife while exploring the outdoors.  This does not encourage natural behavior from wildlife and can lead to dange
rous situations. **

 

Newslettersignuppopup

Sign Up 

 

long_logocomplete cutout hand sunrise_noblack

Please comment below and share with me the one animal you would love to see in the wild!

 

 

This Simple Secret Will Get You Outside MORE!

What is the secret to more ‘nature time’? This simple, easy to accomplish secret will have you outside in no time enjoying breathe-taking views and discovering fascinating creatures!

Bryce Canyon, Mallory Lindsay, Ms. mallory Adventures, Mallory Lindsay

So what this secret?  Would you believe me if I said . . .Knowledge.

 

But that sounds a bit counter-intuitive, right? How can I get outside more if I am stuck inside reading and researching?

To this day I still remember being enamored with those ‘old school’ wildlife shows like Mutual of Omaha, David Attenborough, Gerald Durrell, Steve Irwin. . . the list could go on.  Their passion, and weekly adventures, fever failed to peak my interest and teach me something new and fascinating about our animal kingdom.  Those bits of knowledge created the kindling that now fuels my passion.

Why is this?

Knowldege leads to confidence.  And once connected, these two qualities will create an incredibly powerful, ever-evolving cycle.

Think about anything you enjoy doing.  The more you learned about the hobby, job, or subject the more confident you were in completing the task.  With the more time you invested, the more you wanted to enhance your knowledge and better your skills.

It was an never ending wheel of productivity.

So how can you use this innate skill set to increase your time outside?

Start with this simple trick:

Learn one new thing about your local flora (plants) and/or fauna (animal)  and go find it.

Learning about elephants, tropical jungles, and many of the other fascinating things from around the world is great, but more than likely these locations will not be easily accessible to you.  Finding something fascinating, that is also easily viewable, will encourage you to go seek it while maintaining the confidence of being in an area you are familiar with.

 

Don’t know what would be fun to learn about?  Here are a few of my favorite topics:
  • Animals I am afraid of
  • Medicinal Plants
  • Wildflowers
  • Edible Plants
  • Unusual Habitats around me
  • Diurnal (Active during the daytime) Birds
  • Diurnal Insects
  • Animal Tracks and signs
  • How litter affects local wildlife
  • Of course, reptiles and other creepy crawlers. . .

For example:  I was once terrified of being stung by bees . . .who isn’t, right?  However,  after researching and discovering some really fascinating facts like- not all bees have stingers, most bees are too focused on collecting food than to mess with a boring human, or that every third bite of food we take is made possible because of a bee– I was able to enjoy my outings more and even create a garden to attract the little guys for better viewing.

Here is a little fun fact bee guide if you would like to learn more!

 Fun, Easy Ways to Educate Yourself

  • Youtube– In fact, my Curious Conservationist Videos are pretty informative (wink, wink)
  • Read a Book- It is old school, but one of my favorites.
  • Blogs- It is a virtual world and google is your driver.
  • Take a Class– I LOVE taking classes provided by my local nature center, park, tracking society, and botanical garden. Even better, they are usually free!
  • Volunteer- By far one of my favorite forms of education.  You are surrounded by people with immeasurable knowledge about the subject you are interested in and you are already making a difference for them.

Fresh air, exercise, and an appreciation for the outdoors is beneficial for everyone.  Why not do it with a little knowledge and a bit of confidence to match?

Until ext time my friends, this is Ms. Mallory inviting you to. . .

long_logocomplete cutout hand sunrise_noblack

 

What local plant/animal would you like to learn more about? Please click on the comment button and let me know.

I am your curious conservationist! Your virtual nature guide.

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On YoutubeCheck Our Feed