I went hiking with my sister again yesterday. We had a great time, she got some amazing photographs, and I still didn't see the dragonfly when she pointed it out. Also couldn't see the little grey bird standing on the little sandspit that was covered in rocks and shells. I'm not totally blind, I'm quite sure of that. So I just have to say, "Hat's off to Mother Nature for her camouflage skills"! See how good she is? In the pictures above the way the pine cones and pine needles are the same colour and the sand crab in nearly indistinguishable from the surrounding sand is amazing.
Nature really is the best at it. In fact, I'm reasonably certain that is where the military got the idea in the first place. If I remember correctly, the idea of using camouflage in the military began in World War One. In France I believe. Although it seems to me that the idea should have popped up in somebody's mind during the American Revolutionary War when the British Army was wearing bright Red and the American Rebels were in homespun beige's and grey's. Regardless, it finally did occur to somebody and it works. Around the world you see military units in the camouflage uniforms that work for whatever terrain that are fighting upon.
Hunters use it too. And for the same reason. Animals are already provided with terrific camouflage. Baby birds are effectively the same colour as their nests. And if they were quieter (they are NOT!) you would not notice them at all. Fawns blend in perfectly with a forest floor, some water birds, when standing still, are nearly invisible against the water, chameleon lizards are the masters of cammo with the ability to change colour. Hunters hope that wearing foresty colours will help them have the upper hand against their prey by blending into their surroundings. Sometimes that works against them when a fellow hunter also doesn't see them.
On a societal level, I believe most of us, do the same thing. We dress appropriately for the occasion thus allowing us to "blend" with our environment. I wear heels and a dress to a fancy high end restaurant, shorts and sandals to McDonalds. If you wear a top hat and tails to a dental appointment, you will be noticed. Likewise, wearing a bathing suit to a formal ball will certain make you stand out. We even joke about the "mom" uniform of high waisted jeans and sensible shoes and any mom who wears something else to a "mom" heavy function is noticed (and gossiped about). During a work day, if you are wearing a suit, people will peg you as an executive of some sort, or perhaps a lawyer. White coat? Doctor. Jeans, sunglasses and earplugs? Bus driver. If you are wearing shorts at the airport, it is assumed that you are going someplace sunny. Carrying a puffy coat at the same airport? I'm guessing ski vacation. Any Walmart after 11 pm? Apparently anything goes. If you are ever bored and awake really late at night, go to a Walmart and just observe. The Best People Watching Ever!
In fact, if you are a keen observer of human kind, you will see which couples are not getting along even if they aren't speaking to each other at that moment. It's the way they stand, rigid and tight. They don't make eye contact. Their eyes are narrowed and if they are standing next to each other, they lean away the tiniest bit. You can tell which teenagers are feeling insecure by the hesitation in their movements, the way they look at the ground, the shoulders forward as opposed to the kids who stand straight, look up and out, take big strong strides when they walk. The shy kid blends, the confident kid stands out! The shy kid is torn, they both want to blend and want to be noticed at the same time.
There are people who aren't much noticed. Housekeepers, gardeners, waitstaff, clerks, valet's. Unfortunately, too many folks notice the uniform, but not the person. That's sad. These are individual people who are unique and should be treated with respect. Really annoys me. Some people don't notice children either. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a small child in a store or a mall smiling and waving at everyone who walks by and almost nobody takes the fraction of a second it would take to smile and wave back or say hello. When a person does take that tiny bit of time to acknowledge that small one, that little face just lights up. But no, people get so insular to their own tiny environment that they are unaware of the real actual world around them. Just looking at their electronic device while walking, eating or lord help us, driving along. The other day I saw someone texting while bicycling! Seriously?
Probably because we are so much bigger than the little leaf walker bugs that look exactly like the branch they are standing on or the grey owls that blend in with the tree they are perched on, nature did not give us the ability to perfectly blend with our environment. We have a choice. We can stand out or we can become just another face in the crowd. I have to grocery shop today. Shall I blend with the other shoppers? Or shall I stand apart from the crowd? Hmmmm. Big Decision! If you see in the news a crazy person dressed in formal attire and a tiara or perhaps a wetsuit and flippers at a grocery store in Florida it was probably me. Or someone at Walmart after 11 pm.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.