The whale season this year has been extraordinary. I am not exaggerating a bit when I tell you that for the last couple of months anytime we fixed our gaze on the water for at least ten minutes we would see some kind of whale activity. 3 mama humpbacks chose to give birth right off shore from us and have stayed within eyesight since then. Mostly you see them spouting, always one big spout and one little one close beside. Sometimes you just see their glistening black backs surfacing as they glide through the water. But other times they wave their mammoth side fins in a giant Aloha or whack their tails against the water over and over and over again with such force and in such proximity that you can actually hear the echoing “Crack!” each time the tail comes down. The most amazing sight of all is when their whole bodies torpedo upward out of the water and then come crashing down like a tower. I can’t help but gasp in awe every time they breach.
My boys however seem to have lost interest. I suppose it was exciting enough for them at first but now they are quite bored of the humpback antics. This ambivalence might be attributed to the fact that while they can see a whale at a distance and if they’re lucky, hear it from far away, that’s about the only interaction they’ll ever have with one of these magnificent creatures. And frankly. that’s not really the kind of relationship they’re looking for. Boys like to be a bit more hands on when it comes to nature. For evidence of this just scroll back to my previous post entitled “Lizards and Snakes…and the boys who love them.” Who cares about a big old whale way out there in the ocean when there might be a renegade Coqui frog needing to be caught just right outside their door? And it’s not that they prefer land creatures to sea creatures. They just seem to prefer the kind of sea creature you can pull out of it’s hiding place in the tide pools and temporarily house in a bucket for “observation.”
I really feel that environmentalists often do a great disservice to their own cause when they make nature so inaccessible to everyone but themselves. Children will never grow to have an affinity for or sense of responsibility for something that has always been held out at a distance from them. If nature is off limits then why should they care about it? They’ll put their attention and affections toward whatever’s within easy reach. Like lizards. Which brings me to an update on last week’s epic lizard haul. Exactly what happened to the poor reptilian captives? You’ll be happy to know that most were released back into the wild but a few fell prey to a rather exploitative operation.
That’s right folks. For just 25 cents, you too, could have a close encounter with a Gecko or for just pennies more, upgrade to an Anole and have it all memorialized on camera for posterity or next years Christmas cards.
The little tycoons brought in 7 bucks after just an hour’s work. Not counting the half a day spent catching the poor, unsuspecting critters. And I mean the lizards. Not the tourists.
So while Tom and I spend the sunset hour sitting on the beach or the golf course watching the whales frolic, the boys seem perfectly content ignoring the spectacular scenery and focusing on the more important tasks at hand. Like playing Leap Frog. And catching critters. And plotting their next day’s adventures.