Sometimes late at night I wander onto our porch. The sky is dotted with stars so bright it feels as though you could lassoe each one and bring them down to earth.
Other nights the stars explode into whispy balls of energy that disappear in the blink of an eye. Majestic theatre caught in the thread of a moment so brief and yet so powerful that its memory is etched in the recesses of my mind.
Beyond the grassy slope that lies at an angle to the horizontal points of reference, is the forest canopy. Deer dart in and out of this blanket of darkness shrouded by pine and cedar. The elemental dance of these gently creatures is poetic. The dance differs with age as the youthful spotted babies jump high in the air with an exuberant flair.
Older and wiser deer gaze upon their children with a watchful eye as gaurdians of this unique space in time. If an animal could smile it would be the mama and papa deer sensing the short lived dance of the fawn.
Many nights the darkness is alive with the chirping of the crickets. Usually, the males are the “singers.” The male cricket rubs a scraper against a series of wrinkles, or “flies”, on the other wing. The tone of the chirping depends upon the distance between the wrinkles. This “singing” is the sound of the Forest TV with a chorus that includes the warning squeal from the deer or the barking of the coyote.
Certain times of the year each animal provides the Forest TV with different sounds and volumes. In March it is the ribbit from the frogs, so loud that you’d think the amphibians were huge in stature. However, when cornered most of the frogs are less than two inches in lenght. Proportionately there are few animals, reptiles, birds, or amphibians that can equal this melodic bass volume.
In mid September through mid-October it is the trumpet from the Elk during mating season. The majestic bugle sound from the male Elk beckons the female to mate. This dance can be captured live on Forest TV for your viewing pleasure. Each choreographed sequence of moves is a ritual that is passed down from generation to generation. The beauty of these movements between these large, attractive beasts, can not be overstated.
As the Forest TV changes from Fall to Winter to Spring and finally Summer, the topography of the landscape dramatically moves across barron scenery to lush vegetation. Each change brings new animals into the screen.
I silently view this display of movement and sound as the mystery of life beyond view comes to light. And in that light are the animals that are just rising to the occasion. Others are bedding down in their lair after a predetory search for the unsuspecting dinner.
The beauty of predator and prey is nature’s dance of balance. Within the screen as viewed from the Forest TV we see that life beyond our existence is a table set with the cat and mouse game between species. The herbevoire and the carnevoire see the world in two different perspectives.
One is the gentle deer while the other is the agressive cougar. Each views the world within a sphere of a couple hundred miles. Both live together in harmony until they don’t. Then the aggressor either misses the prey and doesn’t eat or feasts on the body of an unsuspecting victim.
The Forest TV captures all that passes within the frame of our vission. Any one of us can behold nature within the confines of the world we view. Either as a spectator or a hunter for sport or sustenance.
We are the only species that sometimes hunts just for a trophy. Our agressive nature puts us at the head of the food chain while all others either hide or proceed cautiously in our presence. To whom much is given… much is required.