8.24.2008

catch and release...

catch and release...
in this day and age a good deal of our nature experiences involve catch and release
sometimes there needs to be more than just catch and release
not just catch and release but also respect during the catch, the capture, and the release process

this notion of catch and release goes from the firefly to the box turtle and then some

as cool as it is to catch a critter and take it home it just is not an option in the urban/suburban worlds
sure I see box turtles, chipmunks, and black rat snakes in the woods of rock creek park
the frequency of these sightings does not mean that I can take them home
if I took these animals home and a few others took this wildlife home well... then there would be no more life in the wild in these woods

fireflies?
we catch them and then release them before bedtime
there are enough casualties in the capture process
so many get squished putting the lid on the jar that I can not risk letting them die over night
the joy is in catching them
not killing them

this weekend past the family went out to Cunningham Falls
while hiking the dry rocks where the falls would be had we had rain in the last few weeks there was a small puddle filled with some indigenous wildlife
in this puddle with stone walls there were all sorts of water bugs skating on the surface of the puddle and some tadpoles at various stages of development within the puddle
as dean and I put our noses close to water we watched the tadpoles as the tadpoles watched us
in this little pool of water there was really no place for these frogs in their infant stage to hide
we most certainly could have caught a few of them and taken them home

dean wanted to catch them
dean wanted to take them home
I tried to explain this notion of catch and release
I tried to reinforce that these animals needed to remain in their home rather than ours
dean was persistent

it was tempting, but not an option
if everyone were to bring a flower, a tadpole, or a snake home with them
well... as said there would no longer be any wildlife left in the wild

as corny as the boy scout rules are
there are some sense to them
was it....
take only memories leave only footprints

and house of pain's
pack it up... pack it in

Frog in a Blender
a classic FLASH animation piece I dare you to play with the blender controls
start the blender on the slower speeds
turn up the volume
begin laughing
and build up
speed
then laugh some more

this classic dates back to dial up!


it is later... much later...
just finished telling the boys a few stories from when I was a kid
today was their first day of school
well... today was dean's tomorrow is grant's
either way today had that back to school excitement

this excitement of the day had me trying to recall a story about one of my first days at school

no memories surface
all forgotten
all the trauma... all the anxiety... all the pain... all the suffering
all the stuff that was not made any better with back to school clothing

there was no trauma, anxiety, pain, or suffering from where I stood today
things went pretty smoothly
all after a trail-a-bike ride to school drop off went pretty well
the trail-a-bike gets squirrelly without a child on it
the ride was cool... tried to videotape a less than eventful ride that took us down through the zoo
on a road in the national zoo which passes maybe a camel and an ibex but not much more
there are definitely more smells than sites
the camera did not take well to video
things powered down early in the ride
did not have time to trouble shoot it

I was pleased with how well the camera base attached to a C Clamp worked on the handlebar
no... I did not make this apparatus... store bought
bought at a yard sale a decade ago
never used until that moment
getting distracted... back to my point...

maybe the trauma, anxiety, pain, and suffering does not happen until high school
maybe there was trauma, anxiety, pain, and suffering only not visible to me
maybe these things happen but are forgotten

back to my point...
a point that has been interrupted by tangents and worse than tangents kids who refuse to stay in bed
so I blog as I block
on the computer in my office by the door to their bedroom to prevent any escapes
they are too wild right now

my point... catch and release

when I was in grade school I used to ride my bike to the C&O Canal
all sorts of points on the canal were destinations of different adventures
so often the journey was the destination

we rode our bikes to swim at wide water, leap off the aqueducts over seneca creek, fish at various spots of the canal and potomac, or to hike/wander through the woods
there were many rides to a family friend's house north of swains lock where I would portage their canoe up and down the locks of the canal
more than likely there was no more than one ride with ice skates to skate on the frozen waters of wide water at old angler's inn
there were many adventures and just as many memories

of course my brother went on a number of these trips

in grade school
marc was a grade ahead so lets say I was in seventh and he was in eighth
there was a period where these trips to the canal involved catching snakes
we would go to the canal with pillow cases in our cannondale front handlebar mounted touring bags
both on Raleigh bicycles we rode out to the billy goat trail with the intention of catching snakes as pets
not a pet like a dog...
a pet like a fish

the black rat snake was the snake to catch

it was part of the Tom Sawyer\Huck Finn youth that seems to be far less available these days

in hind sight...
our catch and release was not as responsible as it should have been
we caught things in one location
held them in captivity for a bit
fed them white mice as they lived in a small glass aquarium under a household lamp
learned that they did not make such good pets
then let them go in other woods closer to our home

we were kids and the times were different
people were yelling NO NUKES
but no body had a clue about conservation
there was not an environmental movement
sure the book Walden had been written
but there still was no real understanding of our impact
well... no a main stream consensus like is starting to spread today
common sense is still not common
but there are pockets of it growing

in any case
this was an effort to jot down an idea
the effort was hijacked by the quarrels of brothers
as a child I was the hijacker
now I am being hijacked
with insight into my father's frustration of the energy and excitement of two boys refusing to go to bed... refusing to listen
I try not to fall into the default setting which is my father's actions
these are different times

in this day and age...
a black rat snake is not to be caught and taken home
at least not in these woods that border urban and suburban dwellings
what if everyone caught a black rat snake and took it home
there would be no more black rat snakes in the woods
the woods can not sustain such things

it is good to understand things now
things that we did not understand then

if the kids were home and I could catch a black rat snake or better yet a box turtle
I would see it fine for me to catch the animal and take him home for a short viewing
only then to be returned to the woods to the same location
that would be fine
this happened recently with a red eyed box turtle
this has yet to happen with the snake
my brother was always better at catching snakes than me
a turtle is better suited to my needs

catching snakes may be like riding amusement park rides
you may outgrow the inclination for such things
I may have outgrown my comfort for chasing and cornering a snake
cornering a snake?
that notion does not appeal to me

sorry if these thoughts never came together
more distracted than usual

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