Now’s a good time to spend extra hours with nature

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The world is currently a much different place. With the coronavirus stretching toward every corner of the earth, lifestyles unavoidably had to change.

Response to the spread of the virus has resulted in closed schools across America and the world. Most students are homebound, as are many of their parents, the consequence of both economic turmoil and a rational fear of becoming infected.

Perhaps, the worst part of this worldwide pandemic, beyond actually becoming sickened with the virus, is not knowing when this will all pass by, and living can return to what we hope will be customary everyday life.

I, for one, am not panicky over this current problem. I surely do not want any close member of my family to contact the virus, nor do I wish to see it sicken any friends, but I’m of the trusting sort, believing that if the population of uninfected humans follow strictly the advice of health experts, this will become just another part of human history.

Having said that, I know tension and anxiety exist among people, their worries a natural response to something we as, current living people, have never faced. All through this worldwide crisis government health official’s have agreed on one thing people can do to ease their fears, and that is to exercise and stay busy.

Taking walks, jogging and hiking (all undertaken at a safe distance from others) is encouraged. If you’re an outdoor type to begin with, this becomes a great chance to enhance your time walking woods and fields, plus fishing streams and lakes.

For the hunter, it’s a great time to check on favorite hunting spots for signs of wild game, possible food sources of that particular game species and perhaps checking and locating new hunting areas. For turkey hunters, most spring seasons are soon to begin, and walking into promising areas and checking for sign, plus listening for gobbles, is a fabulous way to spend many hours alone and away from others, breathing fresh air.

Trout seasons begin soon, and panfish are already providing some excellent angling. Don’t wait, go fishing often, and relax when doing so.

There are many other outside endeavors relating to fishing and hunting scenarios to consider. Cleaning brush from near a tree stand that always seemed to be in the way of a shooting lane is there for the undertaking now. Making a blind perfectly blend in with surroundings is a choice. Going over fishing rods and reels, checking flies and lures, fixing leaky boots, inspecting the boat, checking torn hunting clothes, cleaning guns properly, and catching up on some good outdoor reading are all good ideas.

Add cleaning the yard, raking left-over leaves and pine needles, trimming shrubs, fixing outside home problems — you name it, you can do it.

For three straight days this week I’ve walked across a huge expanse of a corn stubble field where just a couple of weeks ago I had a wonderful experience with snow geese as they fed toward my hiding spot, filling a five gallon bucket with full ears of corn that the harvester missed when bringing in the crop. This waste corn will not fritter away in the field, because I’ll move it from the cobs to the ground below my bird feeders, where animals like blue jays, grackles, mourning doves, rabbits and squirrels, to name a few, will fill their stomachs to turn create energy for the rearing of upcoming offspring.

All that walking and bending, toting a heavy bucket across a big field and picking clean, ears of corn, listening and watching a couple of small flocks of Canada geese honking as they passed, all simple actions, certainly took my mind off the problems of that day.

The time for heading outdoors is here now, the problems will pass when they will. Don’t make it worse but failing to enjoy the most precious gift toward our living, being outside with nature.

Categories: Pennsylvania – Ron Steffe

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