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"Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints"

Chief Seattle (1786–1866) leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish Native American tribes

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Not Far From the Madding Crowd!

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This is a view from the hill overlooking the canal last evening. Exploring the footpaths and less trodden tracks through the woods is a sensory adventure and great fun! Gunner loves it too.

Few venture off the beaten track into large woods these days for fear of getting lost under a darkening canopy. The first rustle out of place and they're running for the hills, scared of their own shadows. Mind you I do surprise a few amateur 'survivalists' who think they're invisible when they're camo'd up; forgetting that you can smell Lynx deodorant, cigarette smoke, nicotine residue and dope, amongst other things, for miles.

Me and Gunner have great fun tracking them as they wander noisily around with their silenced air rifles or, in one case, a guy I came across sometime ago firing 7.62 ammo from a hunting rifle. It's like 'deliverance' in some areas except that these guys couldn't find a track on a record let alone track a muntjac deer, they just want to shoot things without going to the trouble of getting permission from the landowner. Most of these illegal shooters don't have a clue about shooting near public rights of way and the 15 metre rule, even with permission, and are a real threat in some areas to unsuspecting walkers. Using an air rifle/pistol in a back garden is illegal too within 15 metres of a public right of way (few know that either). I've even come across guys trying to entice Jack Russells or Staffordshire Bull Terriers down holes or into old 'blind' traps that have never seen hide nor hair let alone a rabbit, fox or badger - clueless!

Having wondered why I've just written the above, I realised it was in response to a guy I came across with a rifle slung over his shoulder and smoking a joint, emerging from a rudimentary hide he'd constructed next to the River Anchor near Polesworth. I just happened to mention that I could smell his joint a mile off, to which he replied 'it settles my head'. I wonder what it does for his aim?

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22nd Sep 2011, 15:57  


swamprose says:

When Europeans first came to North America, what is obvious from what they wrote and what they did, is that the giant dark unknown forests scared them. What they wanted was to feel safe, relaxed. The wild is so fierce and real here, I cannot understand UK guns and fear of the dark.

23rd Sep 2011, 03:59

taniwha says:

The UK landscape is quite different isn't - more tamed and gentle. I can imagine they felt scared and proceeded to tame it.

23rd Sep 2011, 09:41