Monday, April 17, 2006


Stalking in the city and suburbs, however, is not as demanding an art form as it is in the widerness or deep country. There is usually no need for camouflage . . . As in wilderness though we still follow the wisdom of the Heron, which teaches us how to hold our upper bodies, and of the cat or mountain lion, which teaches us how to touch softly with our feet. Stalking is always slow, flowing and never jerky. You use the natural brush and shadows like the weasels, slipping through areas quietly so as not to disturb any twig or bush, always keeping hidden, and allowing the light to dapple your body with a natural broken pattern to become undetectable to animals, and people. . .
To stalk anywhere the body is held upright, with the hands and the arms close to the body. This alters the typical human silhouette that animals know so well, and the tight upright position probably appears to them to represent a pole or a pile of garbage. All movements should be so slow and flowing as to be almost undetectable.
Over the years...I have learned the savvy of stalking our more urbanised areas. And I've certainly learned many tricks of the road that have kept me out of trouble and out of jail. One such trick, which can be quite useful in a stalk, is to bring along a birding book and a pair of binoculars or a camera. That way folks tend to ignore you as just another artist or naturalist.

Happy Nightstalking!

from 'Tom Brown's Field Guide to the Forgotten Wilderness' Berkely Books, NY.

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