My New Book – Mystical Animals of Ancient Oak is Now Available On Amazon.com

My new book Mystical animals of Ancient Oak is now available on Kindle and Paperback on Amazon.com.
https://www.amazon.com/Mystical-Animals-Ancient-Cynthia-Fain/dp/1523955228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468726726&sr=8-1&keywords=Mystical+Animals+of+Ancient+Oak

https://www.amazon.com/Mystical-Animals-Ancient-Cynthia-Fain-ebook/dp/B018BJKK7O/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1468726726&sr=8-1#navbarDeer in back meadow at Ancient Oak

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Effective Strategies for Avoiding Hitting Deer and Other Wildlife While Driving

Deer Peeks  In Kitchen Window at Ancient Oak

Deer Peaks in the Kitchen Window at Ancient Oak

 

After decades of driving, I have found that my ability to avoid hitting deer and other animals on the road has been tremendously enhanced by the simple act of slowing down. Our speed limits are set for our convenience, but the speeds we drive at make it impossible to avoid hitting animals, and other people for that matter.

My first suggestion is to make a “Conscious Intention” to slow down (obviously stay in the right lane to do this) and make it a “Priority” to avoid hitting wildlife.

Then you have to turn off typical distractions, such as cell phones, I Phones etc. The obsession we have with electronic gizmos while driving is severely dangerous and should NOT be a habitual part of anyone’s driving. How many times have I seen people looking down texting, drifting off in a cell phone conversation and speeding obliviously along the road. I see this all too often.

If you see any animal by the side of the road, assume they might run out. Don’t wait for the last minute when they run…anticipate it…and slow down…and be prepared to stop.

At night, you can see the reflections of an animals eyes as they glow in the dark. Those shining bright objects hovering in the dark woods, could be an animal and not just a beer can reflecting in your headlights.

Any where there are woods, there are bound to be wild animals. Assume that at some point an animal might run out. Always look for places where animals are likely to cross the road. If you drive past an area where you often see animals that have been hit and killed – slow down in that area. You are driving where they need to cross! Often I see where racoon families have all been killed together.

In the autumn, deer our mating and are likely to run onto the roads. During the autumn months many deer are killed by automobiles. To save your own life, and that of the deer, make certain to slow down and maintain awareness during the fall.

If we shift our attitudes away from viewing the deaths of wildlife as just “road kill’, and if we view their lives as important, and worth honoring, then we have taken the first step in avoiding them on the roads. One of my passions is teaching people that all those creatures we share the planet with don’t enjoy being hit and left to die on our roads. They would deeply appreciate it if we would view their lives, daily journeys and crossings as sacred.

Journey Into The Heart of Nature

I started this blog three years ago when I lived in Rockbridge county Virginia. From my hilltop home, over looking the inspiring Blue Ridge Mountains, I reflected on my many years of living in the crowded, chaotic Washington, DC suburbs. My heart opened up to the plight of all the wild animals whose habitat and trail ways were being decimated in order to put more humans, their houses and cars on the planet.

As people became increasingly fascinated by electronic gadgets like I-Phones, Texting, Apps etc. – their appreciation for the difficult trials that our wild animals face began to disappear. Seeing animals hit and killed on our roads became more and more of a daily sick acceptance. And the human attention span ignored the needs of wildlife who are forced to cross our impossibly chaotic roads.

With my first book, Mystical Animals of Ancient Oak about to be published on Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook Press- I am determined to raise human consciousness to a new level about what we have long forgotten. Our priorities need to shift back into compassionate awareness.

In my first book, I chronicle the stories of many animals, through insight, honor, humor, mystical occurrences and compassion. I learned to stop everyday and find time to enjoy nature – even if just for a few minutes. It is profoundly important to  slow down, honor life and enjoy nature. This is part of our heart and soul.

I want readers to take time every day to notice the animals and wildlife around them and honor their daily passages. Our world will transform when we all learn to be more respectful and life affirming to one another as well as animals.

If you have stories about your own healing experiences with animals, please share them on my blog.

Part Two – Powers of Observation

I will continue to discuss the subject of Powers of Observation. Our tendency to accept animal  fatalities on our roads as a normal by product of our daily, busy lives, is truly sad. This is something that gets so little attention, but we need to take responsibility for taking time to learn how to avoid hitting wildlife, and of course human pedestrians. I believe that most of this could be avoided by making it a priority to slow down and concentrate on driving. We are way too distracted and anxious today. I have attended many civic organization and environmental meetings over the last two decades. Listening to most of the people who come to these meetings you would think that deer are being singled out as being all wrong, way too many of them, and they need to be eradicated. If these groups adhered to the concept of Powers of Observation – these people and organizations would honor what the deer have to go through in order to live among the human chaos. Instead, most of what I have heard over the year’s when attending meetings is that the deer are nothing but a nuisance. I differ with that, and believe they might think we are a nuisance to them. What I would suggest, is that if we had developed our cities and suburbs with a far more holistic, humane, compassionate and ecologically balanced view, all the wildlife, including deer, would have their travel ways, their habitat and their way of life honored. Instead, what we have ended up with is severe loss of forest habitat, massive forest fragmentation, killing off of large predators such as mountain lions, severely degraded watersheds, way too much impervious surface etc. Furthermore, we totally forgot to included wildlife in our traffic plans. Can you imagine being a deer or other wild animal and ending up having your habitat totally paved over, and then have to cross a mega highway? Well, that is the mess our wildlife face. So when I hear about all the outrage about deer, I say well what the heck did we ever do to honor them to begin with? We absolutely must get back to a far more compassionate and responsible way of living on the planet. I believe that much of what is blamed on the deer is just a severe reflection of what humanity is doing to the ecosystem. I have a homework assignment for anyone reading this blog. The next time you get angry at a deer or some other wild animal – walk in their shoes! Start a journal and see what it would be like to become that animal for a day or a week. Keep a list of all the things you see that animal having to go through to manage around traffic, people etc. As I have written in previous journal entries – I have been a long time member of both the civic, and environmental movement, but I hold very different views about deer and other wildlife issues. And I strongly believe we way over persecute deer instead of honoring them. I always see the environmental and civic groups holding “deer forums”. In all these cases there is usually nothing but a forum for people to continue blaming deer and not seeing what the deeper ills are. Deer don’t always cause car  accidents. We cause an enormous amount of these deer auto collisions. And I have written a paper based on my own experiences and this paper teaches people how to avoid hitting wildlife. I am 53 years old and have never hit a deer. and that folks is not an accident. It is entirely due to SLOWING DOWN and honoring life. Folks, it works. SLOW DOWN and RESPECT LIFE. In my next blog entry I will discuss many of the things that are typically blamed on deer and how we need to re-frame this view. We will discuss the concept of promoting and using non violence to deal with deer issues.

We Have Forgotten Our Powers of Observation

Over the last several decades, as technology has engulfed us, we have totally forgotten about Powers of Observation. What are powers of observation? The powers of observation begin with the realization that our one agenda for the day – is not the only agenda. Other people, and animals also have their daily agendas.

I believe that this loss of honoring one another, in our daily rush and crazy driving, is largely behind the enormous amount of animals and people killed on our nation’s roads. We must begin with honoring life again. Every time we get in our car, we need to SLOW down. Instead of driving as fast and furious as we can, we need to always look around and pull ourselves into sync with the natural world.

I encourage people to slow down, always think about the terrain where you drive. If there are woods, there is bound to be an animal that jumps out. Drive with your peripheral vision. Never take your mind off the realization that another car, a pedestrian, or an animal will suddenly appear. The way we drive today, we are incredibly self absorbed and hooked into cell phones etc. This electronic fascination, does not belong on when we are in the car driving. Every day make it a priority to avoid hitting wildlife when you drive. I guarantee it will reduce the amount of animals killed on our roads.

At night, look for the glow and red of eyes on or right off the road. Anticipate animals will always jump out at night, and be prepared to yield to them. I see many animals run right over at night, and the driver did nothing to avoid hitting them!! This is all too regular of an occurrence on our roads.

Another power of observation exercise is to look for animals every day that are in your home, work or travel environment. What is that animal’s important mission for the day? Learn about the activities of the animals and nature around you. Another important power of observation is to know when you hear a person or animal in distress! If you ever wonder if an animal or person is in distress, go by your gut, and call for help.

A few years ago there was a terrible crime at a store in Bethesda, MD. A woman was being bludgeoned to death, and workers in an adjoining store, heard someone calling out for help, and yet they did nothing about it. This is simply inexcusable. When you hear an animal or person in distress – do not ignore them – do  something and call for help. This woman in the retail store might be alive today, if the workers in the adjoining store had banged on the wall and said we are calling the police. The same thing applies to animals in distress. Use your powers of observation. If you see an animal hit on the road, call for help. Do not just leave the animal to die a slow death. Call the local animal control and tell them there is an emergency and an animal has been hit and needs immediate help.

In my next entry, I will continue writing about this very important issue of powers of observation.

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A World Of Human Conveniences

In the mid 1990’s, I moved to the community of Ancient Oak, in Darnestown, MD. I was so charmed by the meadows, old trees, and wildlife that I wrote my first book (yet to be published) Mystical Animals of Ancient Oak based on stories there. The 1990’s were a major turning point in the loss of green space, loss of wildlife habitat and over all decline in quality of life in the suburbs. This is when the violence to the deer and the hatred of the deer became very alarming. So much emotional volatility was projected on to these animals.

 What we were really witnessing, was the beginning of what I have come to call A World Of Human Conveniences. We are all in that constant insane rush. Our attitudes became all about us, our agenda and what was convenient for people. We totally left wildlife and their needs out of the picture. I truly believe that this is a very disturbing trend. Within this trend of creating roads, housing etc. without the needs of wildlife in mind, we have stampeded over living communities.

I fear that many people have no idea of the importance of the lives of deer or any other wild animal. Many people have come to associate deer with only negative ideas. And many of the civic and environmental groups whose meetings I attended were obsessed with putting out negative, fear based ideas about deer. We need to return to honoring what wildlife have to endure to live among humans.

I want anyone reading this blog column to go home and start making observations of what wild animals are going through to live among human chaos. I want you to find ways to learn from the deer and other wildlife. Find out what they have to teach you. We need to build a world that has more concern and compassion for other species. I think we have become too self consumed and need to feel more for the plight of other living beings.

In my next column I will speak about the issue of Powers of Observation. We as a species have to re awaken these great powers. This is key in living with other species in a more humane way.

 

Why are we so violent? In my first post I talked about the pressure the human population is putting around the Washington, DC suburbs, and I am sure this is going on in other cities and suburbs as well. I received an email from In Defense of Animals, and they are suing the National Park Service for the decision to kill deer in Rock Creek Park. The NPS is hiring people to shoot deer at night with fire arms and cross bows. Can you imagine, that people near the park would support this massacre? I grew up around Rock Creek Park and cannot believe the level of violence to the deer has escalated to this degree. Imagine, if someone invaded your home and began shooting you! Well that is exactly what we are doing to the animals that inhabit Rock Creek Park. No matter what damage the deer are accused of causing, it is our moral imperative that we find humane, non violent ways of protecting young trees etc. I find it alarming that so many environmental and conservation groups are so quick to blame the deer for environmental damage. But they fail to put this in perspective to the damage that people are doing. I have been a major environmentalist for decades, but I don’t support the use of cruelty to stop tree damage. Bow hunting is particularly disturbing because the deer bleed to death from one or more arrows. The fact that people around the park would support the use of bow hunting to any sentient being is shocking. What is wrong with the people in our suburbs? Why do they support this violence to the deer? What are they emotionally projecting on to the deer? This hatred of deer and violence to the deer has become epidemic in suburban communities. Now that I live near the Blue Ridge Mountains I know I was not crazy when I thought this violence to the deer had grown to outrageous levels. But stepping back from the madness – I believe more then ever that we are going to pay in one way or another for all this tragic oppression and violence to deer. There is no way this is providing any healing for the environment. It only can bring back negativity to communities to shed blood and violence. I’ll always be an environmentalist, but I won’t support those who hate deer and want more violence. And unfortunately in way too many environemntal and conservation meetings that I sat in on, all I ever heard was unilateral hatred of the deer.

In my first post I talked about the pressure the human population is putting around the Washington, DC suburbs, and I am sure this is going on in other cities and suburbs as well. I received an email from In Defense of Animals, and they are suing the National Park Service for the decision to kill deer in Rock Creek Park. The NPS is hiring people to shoot deer at night with fire arms and cross bows. Can you imagine, that people near the park would support this massacre? I grew up around Rock Creek Park and cannot believe the level of violence to the deer has escalated to this degree. Imagine, if someone invaded your home and began shooting you! Well that is exactly what we are doing to the animals that inhabit Rock Creek Park. No matter what damage the deer are accused of causing, it is our moral imperative that we find humane, non violent ways of protecting young trees etc. I find it alarming that so many environmental and conservation groups are so quick to blame the deer for environmental damage. But they fail to put this in perspective to the damage that people are doing. I have been a major environmentalist for decades, but I don’t support the use of cruelty to stop tree damage. Bow hunting is particularly disturbing because the deer bleed to death from one or more  arrows. The fact that people  around the park would support the use of bow hunting to any sentient being is shocking. What is wrong with the people in our suburbs? Why do they support this violence to the deer? What are they emotionally projecting on to the deer? This hatred of deer and violence to the deer has become epidemic in suburban communities. Now that I live near the Blue Ridge Mountains I know I was not crazy when I thought this violence to the deer had grown to outrageous levels. But stepping back from the madness – I believe more then ever that we are going to pay in one way or another for all this tragic oppression and violence to deer. There is no way this is providing any healing for the environment. It only can bring back negativity to communities to shed blood and violence. I’ll always be an environmentalist, but I won’t support those who hate deer and want more violence. And unfortunately in way too many environemntal and conservation meetings that I sat in on, all I ever heard was unilateral hatred of the deer.