I watch the young feral cats when they are outside. Whether they are out to eat, or explore, they are always fun to watch. One thing they do understand, is to always stay alert and never let their guard down. I see them stop often and look around, checking the landscape and then upward to the sky. I wondered about that for a while, then when I mentioned their actions to someone, they asked me if there were hawks in the area. If so, the kittens were watching not only for predators from the ground but also the sky. That made sense. I find the young cats gorgeous and fun to watch. Predators see only a meal.
Living in a rural, country area that I do, there is always a variety of wildlife. We are over run with squirrel at times. As with the cats, I enjoy watching them play. Their games though are high off the ground in the limbs of the trees. Their acrobatics are almost as nerve wracking as watching human acrobats doing stunts on a high wire. But these are squirrel and they are born to this. They are also miniature tormentors. They know exactly where my two dogs can go and how high they can jump and they will go right to the edge of that limit and play stupid games. So far they have been quicker than the dogs. As long as they are alert to the danger they are putting themselves in.
Hiking the woods behind the house I often come across wild life. Once down at the pond as I walked along the bank toward the bridge at the far end, I heard the unmistakable sound of baby something. The baby something turned out to be racoon as mom quickly made herself known. Trust me, I was easily persuaded to turn around and seek photographs elsewhere. I try to always be alert to the warnings.
Once as I was hiking and walked out of the woods onto the area where one of those rows of power line towers crosses the dirt road I had a moment with a deer. The land the towers are on is rolling hills with small creeks flowing in some of the valleys. As I watched this deer came out of a thicket and started up the hill on the far side. It suddenly stopped and turned to look at me. If I had been a hunter with a gun, the deer would have been supper for someone. I stood on one hillside taking photos, the deer on the other, innocently standing and watching. Right up until a second deer burst from the undergrowth and ran past the first. I could almost hear the second deer shouting “Run stupid!!” Which did cause the first deer to turn and tear off into the woods. Alerted to possible danger it was risking by its actions or lack of action.
My son rides a motorcycle. When he approached me telling me he was wanting to purchase a bike, I surprised him. I told him that he was an adult and I couldn’t tell him no. He worked, he earned his own money, he could buy a motorcycle if he wished. My request was that he take the class offered at the local college and learn how to be extra vigilant and careful. I reminded him that people do not see other cars so the risk of his not being seen was even greater. There was also the fact that a motorcycle offers no protection. I asked him to always, always be alert.
In a world run by technology, there is always someone out there taking advantage of any weakness in the system. Whether it is on computer, cell phone, or skimmers placed to steal your card information. Scammers sending out emails or those phishing through phone calls seeking to trick the innocent into giving away information and stealing everything possible. From taking an identity to emptying a bank account. It is important to pay attention. If you get that odd email, read it carefully. Do not click on links, do not give any information. If you answer the phone and you get that odd call, don’t give them anything. Do your research. Check, make sure. Be alert.
When you go out, watch your surroundings. Keep your eyes open and scanning the area. It does not make you paranoid, it makes you cautious. It keeps you safe and alive. If something seems ‘off’ don’t get out of your car. If you are leaving a building, get security to walk with you. When possible, don’t go alone. Make sure someone knows where you are. In this day and age, it is impossible to be overly careful. One must always, be alert.
Whether you are at home, on the job, hiking or simply out and about, pay attention. Watch what you are doing. Accidents happen when you let your guard down. It is important for health and well being to know and follow safety guidelines. All of those annoying rules, the ones not there to make things difficult or take away the fun, but to keep you safe and in one piece. Always be aware and alert to those instructions.
Its a list that could continue. Has there ever been a time when you wished you had been more alert, or that being alert saved you?