Back to Nature (Published on TBNWeekly.com - Dec. 13, 2007)
Tis the season to celebrate life
What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts
were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to
the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected. Chief
Seattle, a Suquamish chief
Up north winter marks the season when northerners begin planning mid-winter and
spring-break get-aways and retreats to warmer climes.
Sea, sand, water, hotels, fine dining and promises of unforgettable journeys
expound the headlines on brightly colored, alluring travel brochures to Florida.
But something comes over these decorous visitors that are normally considerate,
neat and tidy persons with fairly normal appetites. Theyre on
vacation! As Florida residents graciously offer their homes, beaches and
water ways to relatives and friends they are abruptly brought face to face with
what visitors really mean when they say, Were on vacation!
Over Starbucks coffee and croissants, my neighbors grumbled.
I just cant tolerate nor understand why when I offer my home to people
they then leave their wet dirty towels and laundry dropped onto the bathroom floor
or their open luggage spilling out onto my living room furniture?
Yeah, how bout underwear hung to dry on the shower bar or all that
dirt and sand tracked throughout the house.
For me its the wet hair prints on the couch and chairs. Yuk!
This is not a hotel! my neighbor burst forth.
So far as I know, my house does not come with maid and room service,
another joined in.
What happens to people when they go on vacation, whether they are out-of-towners
or residents just taking a break? When leaving responsibilities of work and
domestic chores behind, some people seem to leave their consciences behind, to
A former neighbor of mine shared her solutions for the voracious appetites of her
in-home tourists. She bought an extra refrigerator, stocked it with pop, juice,
snacks and breakfast foods. She directs her visitors to the guest
fridge, stating that she will prepare one meal a day and serve it at 5 p.m.
If guests are present then they may join us in a gourmet dining experience,
otherwise, they may feel free to go about their own business, on their own
schedules. Then she clamps a large hinge over the main refrigerator door and
drops in a padlock; click. Serious measures, no doubt, but having experienced
my cupboard is bare syndrome myself, on several occasions, I do
In addition, casual and careless attitudes roll over into other areas. Careless
boating is one of the major reasons for the decline in the numbers of manatees,
dolphins and whales. This behavior seems to be taught and learned from generation
to generation preparing the next generation of human adults to contribute to the
A recent sea turtle rescued in our local gulf waters had to have its flipper
amputated because of a careless boater injury. Destruction and loss of nesting and
foraging sites is a serious dilemma as is the destruction of beach nests. These
unfortunate casualties are responsible for the failure of reproduction of sea
turtles. As well, lights left on at night at beachfront properties lure the
hatchlings away from the sea to a certain death. They think the light is coming
from the moon.
These are easy problems to solve. Altering this behavior, whether vacationers or
residents, would not inconvenience us in the slightest, but might save an entire
species from extinction. Then why dont we do it?
The Fish and Wildlife Research Institute recently sent out a press release
containing wildlife alert Information: Long-term monitoring program reveals a
continuing loggerhead decline, increases in green turtle and leatherback nesting
analysis reveals a significant decline in loggerhead nesting numbers around the
An updated analysis of Floridas long-term loggerhead sea turtle nesting
data, carried out as part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commissions Index Nesting Beach Survey, reveals a continuing decline in
loggerhead nest numbers around the state. Nest counts have decreased nearly 50
percent from 1998 to 2007. In contrast, nest counts for green turtles and
leatherbacks are increasing. A record number of nests of these two species were
recorded during the 2007 season.
Allow me to repeat that alarming statistic. Nest counts have decreased
nearly 50 percent from 1998 to 2007. The earliest homo sapiens found to date
are 200,000 years old. Loggerhead turtle remains have been discovered under
geological formations tens of thousands of years old in the Caribbean. Green sea
turtles have evolved for over 150 million years.
The breeding populations of Atlantic green sea turtles in Florida and on the
pacific coast of Mexico are listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service and protected under U.S. law. One of the primary reasons for the decline of
the green turtle is over-hunting, due to the use of its flesh in certain types of
Under the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973, the green turtle was listed as
threatened or endangered, but continued to be heavily exploited by humans. Humans
have already caused the extinction of large green sea turtle populations, including
those that once nested in Bermuda and Cayman Islands. Turtle soup starts at about
$7 for a small bowl and goes up from there. Is it worth the price?
Karen can be reached at MyMuddyPawsStudio@gmail.com.