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Date:11/27/2014 7:09:58 PM
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Noticing Things, Part III
One of Yogi Berra's famous quotes is, "You can observe a lot by watching." Our cousins the Youngers were another throwback family. We all grew up together and I noticed when walking along the roads and trails with them during the long summer days they would stray off the path to one side or the other to examine a plant or to stare into the shadows in the woods. They reminded me of dogs sniffing out a new trail back then, but they were and are outstanding countrymen and can tell you more about wild things than most naturalists. The skill of noticing things is almost a lost art. I remember reading what an outdoor writer and student of Native American history had to say about this. He wrote that an Indian youth walking through the woods would observe and take note of a multitude of things that would be oblivious to a modern man. When that same youth would return along the same path he would note any changes in those surrounding as easily as we would read the daily newspaper.
A countryman or woman can tell you the next day's weather by a glance at the sky. He or she can tell you what a ring around a full moon means in the next day or so and how long you have to get the clothes off the line before a steady rain sets in. The best of them can tell you about any plant you come by and which can be used for what purpose. It is a lifelong learning process, which in my opinion, is the best kind of education. All you need is to be big enough to acknowledge your ignorance and a willingness to listen to others and of course, to look around you at all times. -- Gary
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