Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wilderness Survival

My  wife and I just got back from a little vacation.  We went up to a place above the Mogollon Rim, and camped by a lake up in NE Arizona.  No digital media, almost no people, no stress.  it was a perfect way to spend the week.

I took some pictures of a heron and a frog by the lake that were busy doing their jobs; one trying to eat lunch, the other trying not to be lunch.  Neither one paid that much attention to us, they were focused mostly on each other.

Here's some things I couldn't help noticing about them:

1.  They were both perfectly suited to their environment.

2.  They both knew exactly what was expected of them, they knew exactly what they were doing, and they both cared about the outcome.

3.  Both of them came by their roles honestly.  Neither said anything to or about the other that was not the honest truth.    

4.  Being a heron is, at least to other herons, an honorable thing to be.  No self respecting heron would mock other herons who might depend on him to do his job.  The same can generally be said of frogs.  

5.  They both have enough self respect to abide by the rules.  They both understand that some things are bigger than themselves.

6.  Neither frogs nor herons take $100 million dollar vacations, paid for by other frogs and herons.  Frogs are not known to play golf while other frogs they took an oath to protect are being murdered.

7.  Watching these two creatures, I didn't notice either one lying about anything or making a ridiculous farce out of their respective roles.

8.  Other frogs and herons living in other lakes would have seen nothing that would be seen as weakness, or cause outright laughter or contempt.

9.  Neither of these creatures cares less about rain of course, but any frog or heron who for whatever reason needed an umbrella would hold it himself, not force others to hold it for them.  They both have high regard for their respective positions, and they both understand that doing so would earn them only contempt and derision.

Watching this entire thing was a good experience for me.  What I saw was two creatures playing out their roles with something that passed for self respect and competence, unlike some of the people I read about lately.  At no time did I feel the need to smack either one of them with a canoe paddle.  

But of course I'm only talking about frogs and herons here.  If anybody feels compelled to compare their behavior with anything else going on in the world today, feel free. 


  1. enjoyed the pictures and the article, but perhaps you need another week?

  2. You avoided the obvious question: Did the frog get et?

    1. Actually the frog got a pass. This time. My wife was rooting for the frog, so I asked her how she felt about the heron starving to death. Big mistake. Someday I'll learn to just keep my mouth shut.

  3. Love the Mogollon Rim area. Weekend drives along SR300 and fishing Knoll Lake were a favorite of mine while out there.