Posts Tagged ‘eyes’

What if you woke up one morning and your vision wasn’t the same?  How would you adjust your day, your work and your attitude?

Last week I crossed paths with a small garter snake that had only one eye.  Even though snakes rely on vibration and scent to track their prey, I wondered how it would manage.  Coincidentally, the next day, an eye infection left me with no vision in one eye and blurred sight in the other.  

Many wild creatures, such as the ospreys above, rely on good vision in both their eyes to make the fine judgements in distance required to capture prey.  Others rely on both their eyes to avert becoming prey themselves.  Humans who have lost sight in one eye quickly adapt to any loss in depth perception by moving their heads slightly in order to make a more accurate judgement of distances involved.  In humans at least, it would seem that the greatest benefit to having two eyes is simply in having a spare.  

 Blurred vision is another problem.  It can make a familiar walk in the woods an intimidating experience unless a much slower pace than usual is adopted.   Many of the beautiful details in nature are also lost when vision is blurred.   

However, when vision is impaired, sounds and textures can become a source of both information and pleasure.  The sound of rain falling, the soft texture of spring grass underfoot and the warmth of a spring breeze on your face can be soothing and refreshing in ways that may have been overlooked before.

Those things that nature denied to human sight, she revealed to the eyes of the soul.
~ Ovid

Our immediate surroundings become more important when our eyesight is  impaired.  Unable to look clearly into the distance or quickly shift our gaze from one focal point to another, we’re also more compelled to focus on just one thing at a time.  Since everything seems to take more time to execute, there is a greater need to simplify and prioritize activities.   Fortunately, once limitations are accepted, the transition becomes easier, bringing with it a more peaceful existence. 

As my normal vision returns, I wonder if something that was found this past week will be lost again.  I’ll have to wait and see.

Read Full Post »

Can you see the little ermine in the picture above?  Its sparkling eyes rival the sparkles on the fresh fallen snow.  It caught my eye this morning as I was walking at sunrise along the Salt Marsh Trail.

In the winter, the stoat’s fur changes from brown to pure white, except for the very tip of its tail, which remains black.  During this phase, the stoat is known as an ermine.  To see this elusive creature is considered good luck by the Japanese.  They are mostly nocturnal but sometimes will show themselves at dusk and dawn.

This ermine had the typical long skinny body of its species and moved very fast.  It’s also supposed to be an excellent swimmer.  Stoats or ermines are carnivores and would likely find a plentiful supply of food in the marsh: voles, red squirrels, snowshoe hares, birds and fish.  They are capable of taking down prey larger than themselves.  Stoats are preyed upon by coyotes and foxes.  They may be killed by domestic cats if they dare to venture into residential areas.

The tracks above were photographed near the spot where I saw the ermine this morning.  This is the first time I’ve seen this little creature in the snow.  Seeing it put a sparkle on the whole morning walk.

 Receive by email or subscribe in a reader

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: