Monday, April 11, 2005

Respect for Nature

I'm no left-winger, trust me. I've never participated in a tree-hugging event, or a stand in for nature either. But when a fellow geocacher recently drew attention to test in a cache I'd hidden about dangerous insects such as spiders being "nasty," I took notice.

Geocaches don't sit on street corners in plain sight, or they'd be muggled in no time. Spiders, snakes, and other critters don't do that either or they'd likely be eaten up by winged predators. For these reasons, we usually hide geocaches is places less easily located--places that these insects and critters tend to make home. Either way, my geocaching pal was right. Just because these outdoor critters can cause harm to humans, they should not be feared.

Let's face it, for most geocachers the hobby is just another excuse to get out of our cars and onto our feet. Exploration! Usually, outdoorsmen and women tend to respect nature and mutual coexistence of all creatures, but it seems that too often people are frightful of multi-legged bugs and such because of the minor pain they can cause us when disturbed. This fear has created a culture of "destroy or be destroyed" and the nature around us is suffering. I ask, where will we take our children to see the way Earth was before mass overpopulation? What hills and forests will we hike?

The answer is in complete mutual respect. When you reach into a dark hole looking for a geocache, don't get angry with the critter that may get frightened and try to defend itself. After all, they were there first!

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