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Spring Adventures





















In the absence of human or possibly alien minds, seasons do not have a meaning. They are natural phenomena caused by the axial tilt of the earth. Spring as applied to the Northern Hemisphere occurs primarily in April and May. It is the time when flora and fauna prepare for the annual regeneration cycle to which they have adapted.


We humans have applied meaning to the season. Renewal, birth, starting over and youthful optimism are a small parts of the seasonal reverence. The spingtime cast of species are extremely diverse and complex, thus making choices as to which component of spring to enjoy equally complex. More species interactions are packed into spring than any other season. Futhermore, the peak coincidence of species interactions occurs in mid-May.


Growth, maturation and harvest are equally diverse, but this process is spread out over the much longer time frame. Springtime nature observations and enjoyment can be frentic. Mother's Day, fishing opening, wildflower peak, bird migration peak, morel mushroom harvest, elfin flight, etc. can all occur on the same weekend. Thus, spring is a time when naturalists of all stripes tend to focus on their most beloved activities. Birders will occasionally notice the abundant wildflowers, but focus primarily on the birds. Walleye warriors may not notice that skein of scaup flying past, while focusing on the fish locator. Lepidopterists may crush a morel in pursuit of the rare elfin. A turkey hunter leaning against a huge oak may not notice the abundant warblers foraging amoung the oak's flowers. So many things to do and so little time.


One of the greatest things about the state of Wisconsin is the opportunity to participate in so many diverse nature-based activities. Individuals tend to gravitate around others with the same interests, and these social contacts can be as important to participants as the actual activity.  The human brain needs these interactions, which is very important to human well-being. As long as, we do not consider our chosen avtivity paramount over all other activities.  The mental benefits for the turkey hunter, the bird watcher, the angler, the morel hunter, the wildlflower observer, the butterfly netter, and other specialized activities are equal.  The turkey hunter with back to tree should not look with disdain at the morel hunter walking near a shooting lane.  He or she should empathize and consider the mental health benefits for the morel collector equal to mine.


GNW suggests spring nature lovers choose at least one day in this spring to experience an activity that is not their favorite. Examples are plentiful: the walleye warrior could walk in the pine barrens looking for butterflies, the turkey hunter could watch a patch of wildflowers for pollinator activity, the birder could buy a hunting license and try turkey hunting, the morel collector could go fishing, etc. This change will not affect your primary love of your activity, but the experience may show you, while (name your favorite activity) may be the center of your personal universe and your tribe, it is not the center of THE universe.



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