Behind the Scenes: Camp Wildlife
I was walking over to A-Side with one of our younger campers when he suddenly held his hand out and stopped me in my tracks.
"Shhh," he whispered. "Don't move."
He'd seen a wild rabbit hopping in the longer grass near the Omanut (art) building.
He wanted to follow it to see where it would go. I agreed to follow him.
"You're making too much noise," he said, as I walked across the grass.
"You have to walk as quietly as you can. I'll show you how," he continued.
And so my young camper companion proceeded to show me how to track in the wild. It turns out that you need to walk as slowly and deliberately as you can, starting on your heels and walking on the outer side of the sole of your shoes. That's the best way to make less of a footprint and so less noise.
"How do you know that?" I asked.
"We just learned it in teva (nature) chug," he replied.
And so we spent a very pleasant 7 minutes or so watching the rabbit until he finally disappeared from sight.
In case you're wondering why there's a photo of the sheep which resides outside the Omanut building, instead of the wild rabbit well… the rabbit proved to be rather camera shy so I needed a stand-in.
Rabbits aren't the only interesting wildlife around camp. We also have several nests with fledglings just about ready to fly for the first time. One such nest is situated right above the entrance to the Beit Knesset. All the traffic there doesn't seem to bother them one bit.
Our Canadian geese dont appear to be bothered by our presence either. The other evening they reappeared after our A-side campers had returned to their bunks. They let me get to within about 6 feet of them before their feathers were ruffled.
The geese seem quite happy to share their space with us. They appear early in the morning and then often again at dusk, leaving the camp to us mere mortals during the day. We're happy to share our space with them, too.