[Tweeters] In High- beam Country

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Wed Jan 21 16:51:56 PST 2015

After my early morning drive today - Port Townsend to Everett - I realized, once again, how much I've been missing the High-beam Country.
What the heck is "High-beam Country" anyway. My definition (just invented early this morning, at O' dark O' clock) - is driving through areas where you can drive at night in your car, or in my case, truck, with your high -beam headlights on with no worries.
This mornings drive from Port Townsend to Kingston at 6am was sort of a compromise, but did remind me of past days of High - beam glory. Because, as a naturalist , when you're in High-beam Country, that's a good thing. High-beam can be a Good Habitat Indicator. For various reasons.
One reason is that, if you don't have to dim your High - beams too much (assuming you have some highway manners towards oncoming beamers) that means there's not an overabundance of your fellow hominids around. Hey, I like people, just not too many at once. You know, like traffic.
My dear daughter, now a tall beautiful blond, was once a short beautiful twerp, if not a Tweeter. Way back when she was around 4 or 5 years old she was trying to wrap her head around the concept of traffic. As a young learner she was wanting to understand what traffic meant - probably after hearing my unkind diatribes about the issue as we drove on I-5. On one particularly crappy traffic day she asked " is this traffic?".
"Yes Dear, this is traffic, and lot's of it". I replied.
But in High- beam Country, where you can drive for long periods without dimming your high-beams, you can see all sorts of interesting things. That's the second benefit of High -beam reality - you can see lots of critters. I guess it's kinda rude blaring your High-beams in the face of wildlife, but hey, they run across the road and out of sight. Some slower than others, so brake for salamanders, etc.
Birders could see all sorts of cool stuff. Poor-wills, Pauraque's, various owls, etc. Naturalist's might see Kangaroo Rats, or various wild Cats. Maybe a Mouse or Moose. Snakes. Salamanders. Toad migrations. Whatever. It just depends on where you're driving at night. But to paraphrase the late great Edward Abbey - get out of your vehicle if you really wanna see something.
Due to ongoing life changes, I'm hoping to spend more time in High-beam country. Haven't see one of them Sage bushes lately - they show up real good in those High-beams.
Jeff Gibsonbeaming up fromPlanet Earth

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