Feet on the Ground

I've always loved exploring the neglected regions of neighborhoods, backyards, and now national parks and the city. Not only can you get away and be all alone, but you feel like that at every turn or behind every shrub there could be something new to be found, perhaps even undiscovered. When I lived at Satwiwa my best friend Carolyn was always a great companion for these outings. We both liked walking the grasslands and the small dry creek beds as we were always searching for micro-habitats and ecotones that could potentially harbor unique species rarely seen by most folks just trekking through. Sometimes we would find a Loggerhead Shrike atop a new perch and wonder, are there 2, or even 3 shrikes living here? Or we might find a hidden patch of wildflowers hanging on a distant ledge far from any maintained trail.

Now in the city I try and do the same thing and it's just as exciting there too. New murals, or an architectural gem sitting right in the middle of the noise, are just waiting to found and admired.

I can't say enough about the work of artists and urban explorers like Marie Lorenz who have been for awhile now exploring wild spaces in the midst of our biggest cities. Redefining exploration. Lorenz explores New York's waterways, forgotten shores, and derelict coastal infrastructure in her hand built boats. Her and others are showing us that there are wild and relatively unexplored places in large urban areas and they're largely under utilized, especially through modes of transportation that are seldom applied.

Finally we are starting to take note and people are pushing the boundaries all the time. Now is exciting time to be anywhere. My heroes are those who venture to those places nobody dares to go and then proceed to find and experience more than anybody could've imagined, including the explorers themselves.