Friday, September 18, 2009

The Blessings of Nature

So I gave my elk program last night, and is was so much fun! I forgot some of the things I had hoped to do, said some things in a different order, and my videos didn't work the way they were supposed to, but it was still really really good and people had a very positive reaction to it. I had 26 show up for the campground presentation about the elk and 22 people went out with me to actually listen to the elk. That group included many of the people that were staying in the campground as well as numerous others that simply came for the sole purpose of attending the elk program.

I had one couple from Rapid City who has been wanting to come to the program for 38 years but never made it and they finally came last night. As they were leaving they came up to me and told me that the program had been worth waiting 38 years for. That was a pretty excellent compliment!

And the elk performed! It was amazing. As soon as we got out of the cars I heard one bugle about 300 yards away and it got better from there. We had two going back and forth, both of which were within 200 yards of where we were standing. And it was made even better because it was an absolutely beautiful night with a perfectly clear sky where we could see an abundance of stars.

So I also ended up giving an impromptu night sky program in which I showed the few things I actually know (such as the dippers, the north star, Cassiopeia, the summer triangle including Altair, Deneb, and Vega, Signus the Swan, and Scorpio) and just generally enjoyed the sky as well.

I was supposed to leave at 9:00, but ended up staying out there with a few people until 9:30 just listening and looking at the stars.

It would have been an amazing experience to take part in, but I was actually the one leading it. The experience of those 22 people was defined by me. I was the ranger that created the opportunity for them to experience the majesty of nature. And they did! Several people made comments to me about how good the program was, how much they enjoyed it, and how amazing it was just being out like that.

And I was getting paid! My job is to go out and enjoy the majesty of nature!

I am feeling very blessed!

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