As I begin preparing to go out and find butterflies this Spring 2018, I’m planning where to go to: Bruce Peninsula, the National Butterfly Center, the North Georgia mountains. I’m also considering what to search for–butterflies common to Ontario, rare butterflies in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Hessel’s and Dianas.
I’m having to consider how to deal with the problem of almost always being alone in lightly (read that never frequented) travelled Refuge, Park, Reserve and other remote areas. It’s been years since my children pressured me to carry a cell phone, and I now have an iPhone 6s. Rare but real encounters with feral dogs remains a serious concern. Cold steel has in the past worked well- 2x. The one time, 2 sizable, menacing dogs looked at my 6″ blade (I gently moved it so the sun’s rays would hit their eyes) decided that the kid from Brooklyn still could swing it, and they happily left. I don’t carry yet, though those isolated tragic reports from the Appalachian Trail do make you stop and think. Deliverance did get my attention, I must tell you.
Scrolling down my Media Library of scans; this one brought a weak smile. I was working a trail in Nahal Dishon, in Israel’s Golan Region. Butterflies were all about- lots of HolyLand butterflies. There she was, all 1,500 pounds of her! Her gorgeous rich brown coat should have enraptured me, but she kept watching me with a very hostile look. Moving forward meant passing within 10 feet of her. She did not flinch. Truth be told, I have no idea how to determine if Elsie the Cow is capable of aggressive behavior? In northern Israel, cattle roam unattended, owned by Israeli Arab and Druse.
Ouch! Peeking up out of the low growth was her calf! Mom was fit and trim, and she did not take here eyes off of me. The calf lay there, looking dramatically helpless, while Mom continued to scowl at me. You, who grew up with cattle, weren’t there to see this. Please tell me if cows, used to this much independence, might charge at anyone who broaches the life space of her calf?
I waited a pretty long time. They didn’t budge. Nor did I. Finally, I inched forward, real slow. She never took her eyes from me. Me? I’m trying to calculate the head-butt pounds per square foot power of a healthy cow in the Golan.