Tag Archives: outdoors

Beyond Montana: Mule Deer and their Incredible Journey

Say hello to these mule deer:

mule deer

They’re cute-looking creatures, aren’t they? This is a photo taken years back, somewhere in Montana.

I mention them today because of their fascinating migration story, which evoked emotions akin to when I first heard about the penguin’s story.

These deer spend several months travelling across 150 miles via the Red Desert-to-Hoback route. Right now, the route is surprisingly clear from any human obstruction but that can well change – part of the trek includes a single path, with a land that is currently for sale.

Fortunately, the Conservation Fund has purchased that land to preserve it but it will take months more of observation and tracking to be able to fully preserve this route.

Learn more about the mule deer here

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Support Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Project!

At 17 years old, Boyan Slat was not simply sowing his wild oats. On a dive trip to Greece, he became concerned about the pollution problem – he was seeing more plastic bags than fishes! His frustration did not end with a mere rant; no, instead, he decided to tackle the problem himself.

2 years later, he has created a feasible prototype to rid of plastic. Instead of going for the plastic, he lets the plastic go to him! He takes advantage of natural winds and currents, and floating devices to concentrate the plastic debris into one area – making it easy for period collection. These solid floating barriers are better than nets because they only collect plastic – living organisms are not harmed.

The theory boasts of a projected high capture and field efficiency but for a theory to be put into tangible practice, some funds are, of course, needed and that’s where each of us comes in. This is a crowdfunding project and every dollar counts. If you, like Boyan Slat, want to make a difference, consider donating:

https://fund.theoceancleanup.com/

They expect a fully operational system in 3 to 5 years, once it is successfully funded.

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Grown Ups and The Great Outdoors

I had low expectations when a rerun of the Grown Ups movie showed on TV. That it was starring several big names in comedy suggested that it would be just one of those crazy movies that’s more slapstick and laughter than anything else. I was very pleasantly surprised though that while the movie did have its offensive moments, it highlighted something I feel strongly about:

The family that goes outdoors together, stays together

What is it about the great outdoors that brings you closer together? Sure, you can argue that you stay with your family at home, watch TV together, but there is something about nature’s display that makes the experience even more memorable.

In front of the TV, there is something that demands most, if not all of your attention – hundreds of images flashing before you at breakneck speed. They are for your personal consumption. They bring you to a whole new world. Even if you are beside your loved ones, giving out occasional comments, ultimately the experience is just you and the TV. It’s even worse now that we have all these gadgets around – the iPad for example. Apps are so engaging that you can enjoy without any other human companion.

On the very opposite end, the beauty of the outdoors seems to be heightened when you are in good company. A sunset is beautiful even if it is just you sitting down on a bench gazing at it, but there is something that makes you desire to be with someone – the urge to hold someone’s hand and revel in the glorious painting before you.

lake

What good is skipping rocks when nobody is there to skip with you and marvel at the distance? And what a waste is it to enjoy a cool dip in the lake alone when you can share the gift to others?

A barbecue meal is best enjoyed by the whole family, with everyone doing their part.

A big catch of fish should be celebrated by all.

A friend can help you row the boat.

A swing will not move by itself without someone to push it.

 

Nature compels you to love and to be one with everything and everyone around you.

The family that goes outdoors together, stays together

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Fishing in the Age of Fast Food

The art and sport of fishing seems to be so out of place in a generation where we can drive through and get our food in a jiffy or even “cook” food out of a plastic cup in just under 3 minutes. The world and everyone in it moves at breakneck speed to get everything done – news articles are at our fingertips in just a few clicks. Shopping can be done without having to leave our work desk.

So how does a sport that relies on slowness and patience fit in?

It doesn’t and that’s the beauty of it.

fisherman-scenery

Source: Photo by Daniel on Flickr

In the constant restlessness and hustle bustle of our fast-paced day to day lives, there will come a  point when we will seek refuge. A point when we will find ourselves spinning madly out of control. And that’s when we will see the need to get away from the urban jungle and find some zen.

But why wait when we get burned out to do that? Why not make it a habit to celebrate slowness from time to time? Consider a periodic fishing trip and explore what wonders it can do to you:

1. It teaches you to be patient.

Nope, dinner is not a delivery hotline number away tonight. You’ll get dinner if you catch a fish. And then when you catch it, you have to gut it, clean it, and cook it. It’s going to take at least an hour. Maybe more.

Catching the fish itself is not easy. Even if you can already see the fish, you can’t guarantee that the fish will like your bait. You have to experiment. Wait. And keep silent so you don’t scare the fishes (yes, this is not just a myth)

2. It teaches you to cherish accomplishments.

Fishing is hard but ah! Just think about the sheer joy and accomplishment you feel when you do catch one. It is a result of hard work and time. It is not the sort of shallow accomplishment you get when you play a game on iPad and get an instant badge just for signing in

3. It teaches you to cherish the moments.

While you’re outdoors and trying to catch a fish, by all means – relish the sights and sounds around you as well! Can you hear the wind blow? The distant rustle of trees? The lilting sound of seagulls? The subtle splash of the water? When was the last time you just took at a look at the clouds instead of taking a picture of them and uploading on Instagram?

4. It helps you connect with friends and family.

Bring your kid along. Bring a friend along. Minus the distractions of technology, you can have an easy quiet conversation.

5. It reminds you of the value of life.

That hamburger you eat didn’t come from the grocery from some synthetic factory (I sincerely hope it didn’t!) No, it came from a farm… from a living, breathing cow. Make sure you don’t waste his existence!

 

So who’s up for a fishing trip?

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While we’re at it, here’s a great fishing story

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The Best Sunset Photos

What makes a sunset so beautiful? Is it the way it paints the light blue canvas with a multitude of deep reds, oranges, and purples? Is it the way the water reflects these colors, or the way the city is bathed in them? Is it because it signals the winding down of the day, the anticipation of clocking off from work to party with friends or settle down at home?

Whatever the reason, a sunset is always guaranteed to bring us a peaceful mindset. Here are some of the best photos of sunsets I’ve seen on the Internet:

The first does not veer far away from home. It’s a photo of Arizona taken by Gene Hanson. There is something very poignant about the shadow of a lone cactus and its dynamic backdrop.

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Even the dreariness of winter cannot dampen the vivacity of sunset, as seen by this picture of Fairbanks, Alaska. The colors are more pastel and slightly subdued but just as beautiful:

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Even the giraffes are at awe over the sunset in Africa. Image was taken from Pinterest but actual source is unknown.Image

I could go on and on here but I’ll stop with just these three. Do you have a sunset photo to share?

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