Back to Nature (Published on - April 27, 2005)
Different perspectives of life
Photo by Rick Tremmel
The perception of our world is based upon the place we happen to be sitting while viewing that world.
It’s all in the view from where you’re sitting.

It was nearing noon. We didn’t need to check our watches, look at our Palm Pilots or turn our eyes to the sky to know that it was nearing noon. Hunger pangs demanded we take a break and stop somewhere for lunch.

Along a gray brick office strip, almost hidden, we found a small deli. The walls were bravely papered in tiny black and white checks and then peppered with framed sports photos and memorabilia.

While waiting for our order I took a look around overhearing one man say to another, “Hey, did you hear … they scouting for grizzlies.”

Hmmm, this nature writer’s ears perked up … grizzlies? I wondered.

At this point the other man responded, “Yeah, White’s in the lead with nine goals and 18 assists for the Grizzlies … goin’ up against the Aeros.”

“No problem … Aeros seekin’ to tie the series with the Wolves.”

Now wait a minute ... Grizzlies … Wolves … I listened more carefully, but this didn’t sound like any conversation I’d ever conversed in about Wolves and Grizzlies. In a corner another gentleman was reading the sports section of the newspaper. He looked up on occasion, smiled and nodded. I soon gathered this was a secret signal or prompt to alert the other men to speak in the secret code that followed:

“Nah … you don’t know what you’re talkin’ bout, Wolves gonna whip up on those Aeros, for us to win down the stretch here, it’s got to be a full 60.”

I could have been in France, I thought, and understood the language better. As we ate I

observed complete strangers walking into the deli then out of the blue, with no inhibitions, ardently engage in conversation with other strangers speaking this foreign language. They knew exactly what the other person was talking about and could pick up a conversation in midstream. It was as if they were all from the same local tribe meeting around a sacred watering hole.

I remembered something an Elder once told me, “It’s all in the view from where you’re sitting.”

Over the past few weeks, many heads have been turned toward a little owl nest box made accessible for viewing with a tiny, unobtrusive wildlife cam. Hundreds of human eyes counted the nestlings, one by one, and watched the owlets grow from balls of ragged fluff to chicks with big disk eyes. As far as the owlets are concerned, they have never seen a human. They have no perception they are being watched.

Technology meets nature. Wildlife cams offer us the ability to observe wildlife undisturbed in their natural habitat. Researchers are pioneering new techniques and gathering intimate information that they previously had not thought possible. Wildlife researchers around the world such as, SeeMore Wildlife Systems who utilize this technology to view their subjects live, in real time through hidden wildlife cameras. Technology rapidly brings us closer.

Many of us have never seen a grizzly feasting on salmon upon a riverbank or taken a look within a barn owl’s nest. Have you ever stood at the ocean’s edge and watched elephant seals play? When was the last time you giggled at tiger cubs playing? As the snow melts and the birch trees are bathed in tangerine light, did you see the wolves? The latest technology allows us, at the click of a mouse button, to bring the sounds of the ocean into our living rooms live and watch penguins playing on ice flows.

We all look at life through our own set of lenses. You may see the world in shades of blue, or black and white, but another person may see the same world in shades of tangerine with rainbow stripes. We all speak different languages. It’s how we interpret and react to what is heard and seen that allows us to grow, learn, give and relate to one another.

What is truth to one person, logical and thought-out, in kind, may be interpreted or painted in a different tint by another or not be realized at all. As we view our world through different lenses … as we hear the world, according to what we may understand or interpret … it will be necessary for us to grasp what is beyond our little nest box. It’s all in the view from where you’re sitting … seeing; hearing and understanding … back to nature.

Wildlife Web Cam Links:

SeeMore Wildlife Systems:

Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum:

National Zoo:


Karen can be reached at

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