BEDO,  an acronym for Biological, Environmental Daily Observation, originated with my daughter’s 8th grade biology teacher. It was his scheme in the early 1970’s to get his students to look at and observe the world around them.

My daughter and I so enjoyed this ‘word’ (hardly a neologism as it is unlikely to enter common usage), we have adapted it across the years as a code for natural observations of all kinds. Some of these observations I will share here, under this category. You’re invited to participate.

2 thoughts on “BEDO

  1. For the past several days, we have had the honor of seeing the salmon run up Piper’s Creek, a creek that cuts through a small urban woodland park (central theater for Jeff’s boyhood wars fought with pine cone grenades and stinging nettles). After some effort at restoration of their ancestral mating grounds, the salmon have returned, surrounded by residential neighborhoods. I watched their struggle against the current and through the shallows with awe. We even saw a pair laying and fertilizing their eggs. Jeff explained the tell-tail sign: the female, pink and silver with a distinct black stripe from nose to tail, flipping onto her side to make a nest. They are Chum this time of year, the largest around 15 pounds well-fed, and these are lean, having stopped feeding.

    These fish travel thousands of miles, navigating by what we dismissively refer to as “instinct,” which is a combination of the scent of home waters, the sun, moon, and stars, the moon’s gravitational pull, and the earth’s electromagnetic field. When a fat man in a Coors Light hat grins at us and says, “dinner!” upon seeing them, my heart bleeds. (Chum, by the way, are not good eating. Jeff, ever the gentleman, declines to correct the man who does his fishing at Skippers.) But I am gently encouraged by how others in the small crowd of onlookers “instinctively” urge them on: a cheer goes up whenever one fish manages to clear a particularly harsh obstacle. The immediacy of their life and death struggle compels. But for me, it is the miracle of their tiny eggs, the perseverance, for now at least, of their wild lives.

  2. And the Daughter says….The other day near a playground with large trees outside the zoo, I encountered a crow with a single white tail-feather. The white feather was right in the middle of her tail, visible only if she fanned the tail out. Powerful medicine, a crow with a single white tail-feather. After she and her affectionate mate observed me for a few moments, they flew some feet away and landed on a baby stroller (no doubt familiar with its promise of Cheerios and teething crackers), to the delight of both mother and child. I pointed out the tail feather to the woman, who had already noticed, and duly appreciated it. I have just painted an interpretation of this lovely crow in honor of the experience.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s