Monday, March 7, 2011

On a mission?

No posts for almost a month? Normally February is the dullest month of the year as Winter is gasping and spewing its last bit of "Crappy" weather, the landscape is slowly turning to mud and leftover black snow, the wildlife is in a state of transition preparing for the seasons ahead. My mind had moved into a dull, crappy mode as well when I received a call to action. With the help of the wife of a photographer friend in New York, I became involved in a number of adventures during the past month or so. I was introduced to an agent of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who allowed me to accompany her on some interesting escapades . Being a lover of the outdoors and native wildlife, I eagerly followed agent Rachel Porter as she dealt with poachers and smugglers of exotic and endangered creatures. We spent time on a Blackfoot Indian (Native American) Reservation in Montana tracking Grizzly Bear poachers, we rubbed elbows with sleazy Parrot smugglers in the"Little Havana" section of Miami then hustled off to the Louisiana swamps to investigate the illegal "Gator" skin trade. Well its been a great, and very busy, month and I had the opportunity to visit places that I wouldn't normally see. I haven't experienced anything quite like this since I accompanied a English guy named Bond back in the sixties. Yeah, you got it., I spent most of the last month curled up, surrounded by my clock collection (now reaching about fifty in number) reading a series of books about a Fish and Wildlife Agent written by Jessica Spreat. This has really helped me pass the time as I await the birth of a new season to brighten up the local landscape. I fact that I sat down and actually read a book might not seem too significant except, if you know me, you know that reading books is far, far from the top of list of things I like to do. I must thank George for introducing me to Jessica (although I have never met George face to face we have talked on the phone and communicated electronically for over twenty years without ever meeting). And, I must thank Jessica for allowing me to witness some pretty chilling adventures. I should say that she allowed me to experience these adventures. I've heard and felt buzzing insects of the Louisiana swamps, I shivered from the icy wind of a Montana winter, melted in the heat of a Miami summer afternoon, dripped sweat in the searing sun of the Mojave Desert, and enjoyed the pleasant spray of the surf on Oahu's North Shore. All in the comfort of my cozy little clock room. I still have four or five more locations to explore with Rachel. That should easily bring me through the final winter blahs. Well I'm off to round up some more bad guys in California, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, and New Jersey (New Jersey???). After all this stimulation I should be ready to get out there and really do some bang up wildlife investigating this Spring and Summer. I must admit that, with the price of gas going up so ridiculously fast, I may have to be content doing my wildlife exploration right here in my clock place with some good books on the subject. For sure I'm going to, at least, need books with lots of pictures.