(Un)Common Sense

This particular topic has come up has come up quite a lot in the recent past, so i thought I would share my opinion on it, and see if any of you (ok, Sister, mom, and maybe Mom-in-Law) have an opinion on this too:

Common sense has become less common. Ironic, I know, but it’s true. Maybe it’s from all the seatbelt laws and warning labels, but it seems as if no one has to learn from their mistakes or observations. Here are two examples from recent outings.

1. Scorpions live in water.

Looking back I can’t believe it was almost two years ago, but we went out to Brazos Bend State Park to walk to trails on a beautiful spring day. It was perfect-not too hot, not too humid, and there was wildlife everywhere. Turtles, birds, alligators, and apparently, scorpions….?

So, this little guy was hanging out on the edge of the water, and was apparently in his honey spot for hunting, so he didn’t care how many pesky humans were around-he wasn’t leaving.

National Geographic, eat your heart out.

There were several people standing around watching this Yellow-crowned night heron hunt, and yes, it was during the day. One man standing ont he shore with a baby backpack and corresponding toddler on his back, was trying to explain what was happening to his family. He said, and I quote,”He’s got a frog. No, wait, it’s a….it’s a scorpion!”

Yep. Scorpion.

That’s right folks: Scorpions live in swamps. It’s a little known fact about them, actually. Many people think that they prefer drier climates and living under rocks, but let’s face it. When you’ve been educated in the US, you KNOW scorpions live in swamps. Right?

So as this night heron pulled up crawfish after crawfish (no, they aren’t REALLY scorpions), the man and his family looked on in amazement. His family. Meaning he had children. Meaning he passed on not only his genes, but he is now passing on his knowledge.
God save us.
2. A snake will hold onto its prey until it grows big enough to eat it.
Over the weekend, Hubby and I were in Hermann Park in Houston spending the day birding and feeding the super fat squirrels in the park. I didn’t have my camera because the battery was dead 😦 so you will just have to take my word on this. I mean, you read all this other drool, so I would expect you to take what I have to say as gospel.
While we were birding in the park, a massive group of Whistling ducks was congregated on a small island in the middle of the lake near the zoo, and there were a few others walking around on the other shore, where we were. In particular there were three that let us get fairly close. One of those poor ducks had something stuck to him, so I waited until he got closer to make out what it was. The poor thing had a 5 inch long rubber fishing worm (and presumably the hook attached to it) stuck in his neck. While the duck walked, he would step on the worm and it would tug out from under his foot. Every time he took a step. He also had fishing line wrapped around one of his feet. This duck wasn’t doing horribly, considering the circumstances. He was foraging for food, he just didn’t look very comfortable, and his neck was pretty swollen. But hooks are meant to rust away to nothing, so we can only hope that it will rust away before he gets an infection.
What does this have to do with common sense? Later while we were still walking through the park, we heard a group of high school aged kids talking about how a duck had something stuck to him. “It was like a snake or a leech” they said. Over and over, they repeated that a snake or leech was holding on for dear life to the neck of a duck. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, yes leeches are difficult to remove, but I would think that a duck would rather eat a leech than let it suck the life out of him. And as often as the duck was stepping on it, it would seem that the leech would eventually give up and find an easier meal, so he wasn’t getting stepped on constantly.
But a snake? A snake. A 5 inch-long snake on the neck of a duck? This just reminds me of the chicken hawk in the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons. He just doesn’t realize how small he is, but By God, he’s going to eat that duck! 
So my lesson today is, use common sense. Think about your observations. If it doesn’t make sense, don’t make an assumption about something you know nothing about. Ask questions. Learn. Especially learn to think critically.  You will need those skills when the apocalypse comes, anyway.  
And because I like to leave you with something nice to look at:
Here is an adorable family of Whistling ducks!

3 thoughts on “(Un)Common Sense”

  1. I would love to be at Joe’s Crab Shack or somewhere when that guy orders crawfish, then looks down at his plate with amazement as he slowly makes the connection….

    I’m glad you finished with the cute ducks so I wasn’t too depressed over people’s lack of knowledge about nature.

  2. Yes, but when the apocalypse does come and those with no common sense are disappearing there will be more food– I mean scorpions–to eat. And perhaps a smarter people will emerge.

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