Natural beauty surrounds humans in every environment, from cities to the country, but most people don’t take the time to notice.
“The natural world that we live in has lots of lessons to teach us, if you just look carefully and let the images flow through you,” SIAST Natural Resource Technology program head Hamilton Greenwood said.
“People now live in cocoons … We live in these comfortable warm environments, but these things are all around us every single day if you just take the time to slow right down and have a look to see what’s out there.”
Greenwood provided an overview of some of this natural beauty most people miss out on during a presentation at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library on Tuesday, during which he walked an audience through a slideshow of photos that were mostly taken within 100 kilometres of Prince Albert.
When one’s eyes are open to the beauty of nature, anything can become a natural canvas -- even a frozen slough, he said, exemplifying this sentiment by showing the audience a picture of intricate cracks forming at the surface of a body of ice.
Greenwood’s slideshow included about 90 creatures from the immediate Prince Albert area, of whom many can be easily spotted for those who take the time to look.
A family of foxes Greenwood occasionally follows provided one of the presentation’s cuter moments, his slideshow providing the audience a view of tiny foxes huddled in a den only a few kilomtres outside of the city.
Even within the confines of city limits one can find an amazing wealth of animal life, Greenwood said, with coyotes, lynx and even bears spotted, as well as about 160 species of bird in the summer.
Looking to the future generation of natural resources sciences, Greenwood said that things are wide open for the young men and women who want to make a difference.
The natural world that we live in has lots of lessons to teach us, if you just look carefully and let the images flow through you. - SIAST Natural Resource Technology program head Hamilton Greenwood
“There’s this whole generation of biologists who are rolling out in their careers, and it’s creating this wonderful vacuum at the bottom and all kinds of opportunities for people,” Greenwood said.
The study of natural resources provides lessons about the social world as well.
Throughout his presentation, Greenwood pointed out animals that are different than most others of their species, including a deer with an oddly shaped antler and a family of geese with a strange white stripe.
“We talk about, as a society, the importance of embracing diversity,” he said. “You go through a walk in the woods -- the most splendid woods you walk through are those that have the most splendid variety of plants and animals, birds and everything else.
“There’s a correlation with society, isn’t there? If you learn to embrace everybody.”
The deer with the twisted antler also found himself one of the luckiest with the doe population, he noted.
“When you put them in their natural context, they shine,” Greenwell concluded.
Greenwood’s presentation was the latest in the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library’s Focus on Learning series of presentations.
The final in the series will take place Wednesday, March 27, when Saskatoon wilderness enthusiast Colleen Gerwing will share stories about wolves. Having camped in northern forests for years, she’s encountered wolves and amassed many wolf-centred stories to share.
Gerwing’s March 27 presentation will begin at noon, and like all other Focus on Learning presentations will be free of charge and open to the public.