Seeing with new eyes

One of my favorite quotes is by French novelist, Marcel Proust: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.” As an environmental educator, I feel that one of my most important missions is to help people really see things that they look at every day. By asking people to put together a wildlife inventory or figure out where runoff goes after leaving a parking lot or take pictures of natural areas, we are asking them to focus their attention, at least for a little while, on an area of their property that usually does not fall under their day-to-day responsibilities.

Camera technology is getting into the act of providing us with the opportunity to witness aspects of nature that were not available to our human eyes in the past. Take night cameras combined with a motion detector, also called camera traps. The staff at the Fancourt Links Course in South Africa has successfully used these “traps” to add to their wildlife inventory.

Nest cams are also becoming more popular, whether they are small cameras set up in bluebird nestboxes, such as at Royal Oaks Country Club in WA, or the multiple cameras focusing on a bald eagle nest at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay golf course in TN.

The images created by these cameras can be shared as part of these members’ Outreach and Education programs. We enjoy, along with a long list of others, regular emails from Fancourt Links. Royal Oaks has a feed into their clubhouse and Harrison Bay, along with a number of sponsors, is sharing their images with the world. We continue to add images and link to different websites through other technological wonders, Facebook and Twitter. 

Just this morning I caught Elliot and Eloise, the two bald eagles at Harrison Bay, as one relieved the other of nest duty, allowing a quick peek at the eggs. New eyes indeed!

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