A New Resolution – More Time Outdoors and More Exercise
For those of you that don’t know me, I am a large man…..and the doctor says too large (just said so a week ago). The hustle and bustle and busy times, along with various stresses, obligations, commitments and changes to my job have led to me spending way too much time sitting at my computer, sitting behind a steering wheel, sitting at meetings and sitting at home. Aside from a few wildlife surveys that I do, I don’t get out “in the field” much anymore either.
Even my fishing activities have changed in recent years, from walking around a pond or up and down a canal bank, to sitting on the bank or sitting in a boat. I am sure many of you reading this can relate to this, which is why I am writing this. I have to slim down…starting now…and what a better way to do it than to go for walks outdoors and in places where I may actually have a chance of seeing wildlife. So I am going to try to walk for at least an hour, every day, outdoors.
A Red Fox, Great Horned Owl, and an Eagle
My first walk of the year was around our “north hatchery ponds” here at the office in North Platte. About a mile-and-a-half walk with a temperature of 18 degrees and a wind chill that I didn’t want to know, let’s just say it was breezy. On the first day of pursuing my resolution, my walk allowed me to see a red fox, literally 10 feet away as it popped out of a plum thicket and ran away from me. There was also a Great Horned Owl, dozens of American Robins and sparrows, and quite a few other birds. The ponds are currently either dry or frozen over, so no water birds to be seen.
My second walk…in the snow…5 inches on the ground and coming down hard. Colder but with a higher wind chill (light breeze that day). In a two-mile plus walk along a canal, I got to walk under a Bald Eagle and see some Common Goldeneye and Canada Geese while following tracks that I think were from the fox I saw the day before. I never found the animal that made the tracks, but I got to follow along on his journey and imagine what he was up to. And there is something relaxing about walking along water…even a canal.
A lot of walks left to go
A lot of walks left to go, a lot of neat places and neat things to see. I am committed to this. I challenge those of you reading this to walk with me this year. I am hoping that by writing this, just having you know what I am up to will hold my feet to the fire. Get out there, walk around your town, your favorite park, State Recreation Area, Wildlife Management Area, etc. If you are already pretty fit, make it a jog or a bike ride in a natural place. We have so many beautiful places to see and experience in the Chicken Dance Trail area, so get out there and enjoy them. It will be time well spent.
Biologist, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission