This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. There are a lot of measuring devices. There are measuring cups.
There are devices to measure your strength.
There are also devices that measure your lovableness. I broke that machine.
But when you are visiting Congaree National Park in South Carolina, you need no other meter but the Mosquito Meter.
Yes. Yes. This was very important as we prepared to walk the trails at Congaree National Park.
You can only imagine Girl Person’s poison ivy and chigger bitten legs at this point. So in actuality, what harm could a few mosquitoes pose? Apparently, our encounter would be severe. At least that’s what the meter said.
And so we prepared as much as we could. I recommended spraying us down with peanut butter, but Girl Person said river otters and squirrels may like that too much and well, I didn’t need a meter to tell me my idea was off the chart. Probably best saved for another situation. Digby recommended not getting out of the car at all and possibly just admiring it from afar.
You see, bugs love his pancake butt more than maple syrup loves aforementioned pancakes. But we braved it. And we set out on the 2.4 mile boardwalk trail.
We were enthralled. I love that word to describe myself. But it described this place too. There were giant pine trees and cypress trees and cypress knees.
There was an old moonshine still and even woodpeckers and birds singing. We learned about the Congaree people and the people who saved this area from logging. It was like a step back in time.
There was so much to look at, we forgot we were supposed to be running from the mosquitos. But they didn’t bother us. We didn’t even notice them.
Why didn’t we notice the mosquitos? We were learning not only about the history of the park, but we were learning to take it slower. Walk slower for Digby. Let him linger. Let him take it all in.
Seems to me that not only are National Parks good for learning about history and protecting areas and wildlife. But National Parks are good for teaching us lessons too, even with the Mosquito Meter. We can imagine the worse is going to happen. We may even be told the storms of life’s percentage is a 100% chance of rain. But it’s up to us to have a good attitude. Because a good attitude can help our problems disappear. It’s been said you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar! Well, I’m not trying to do that. I’m not trying to say I love mosquitos. But dwelling on what may bite us doesn’t stop it from happening. Living in fear is not a way to live. We have to get out, and enjoy what’s out there. It’s worth the effort. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. Not even a Mosquito Meter.
Congaree National Park isn’t a place I thought I would ever see. But I needed to. A rare, old-growth floodplain Forest, it’s 27,000 acres was almost lost to logging and people who didn’t care to preserve it. But someone fought to save it. And now others can enjoy it too. We need it to be here.
What can you experience? What is nature waiting to teach you? You know your happiness meter. What does it show? Will learning about our earth help you to learn about yourself?
–Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle
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