“Cold” Follow-up

I think there are a few things that can be learned from this quote. ‘What exactly can be learned?’ you’re probably asking. Let’s see what exactly I’m talking about…

“I don’t see how anybody could have a passion for nature without having an equally developed tolerance for the cold.”

— Tom Brown Jr., The Tracker

This quote that I have dubbed “Cold” by the power vested in me (hehe, 🙂 ) has 2 things that we can learn from it. It may seem crazy, but if you pick apart and analyze this quote, there is more truth in it than you would normally realize! So let’s begin!

First off, besides the fact that America’s greatest outdoorsman is saying this, it is simply the cold (no pun intended), hard truth. If you LOVE nature and you’re willing to do anything to have birds eat out of your hand or to see a muskrat emerge from it’s winter hole, then you need to have a good tolerance for the cold. You may want to see an animal from a distance that you can nearly touch it, but if so, are you willing to spend hours lying in the cold? And what exactly do I mean by “lying in the cold?” I mean exactly that. No eating, noise making, talking, or moving for any reason whatsoever, for hours.

Now, I will admit, I am not the best at staying still. It’s not easy. And when you don’t get what you set out to achieve, it can be disappointing. One time I woke up at 05:00, got dressed, ate breakfast, brushed my teeth, got the seed, and by 05:30 I was ready and walking outside. For what you ask? For lying in the dew wet grass for hours waiting for birds to eat out of my hand. By 06:45 it had been light for only about 20 minutes or so. I was getting quite uncomfortable and impatient with the birds, and, regrettably, I got up and moved to a different spot, thinking I could maybe trick the birds into eating if I got closer to them. Nope! Not a single bird came within 5 feet of me for the rest of the morning. I came in around 8:30, and even though I didn’t achieve my goal and I was disappointed, I learned a lot about the birds and what to do for next time.

Second, even if you like nature but you’re content watching animals on TV or you would rather just not watch them emerge from their home from a mere 5 feet away, then you will still have to brave the cold. Most people like camping or hiking if they like nature. And I’m sure those campers do not just not go camping from October to March. That’s half of the year where it’s generally cold, at least in Georgia. It may be more or less so in other states and countries. They brave the cold and most will just simply wear heavier and more insulated clothing. And truthfully, if you are pretty well bundled up, you won’t feel the cold.

So that’s all I have to say. First, if you want to see live animals emerge from their dens, you will have to lay in the cold for hours. Second, even if you just like camping and/or hiking, you will still have to brave the cold. And that’s what can be learned from this quote.

Keep calm and track on!



“The first track is the end of a string. At the far end, a being is moving; a mystery, dropping a hint about itself every so many feet, telling you more about itself until you can almost see it, even before you come to it. The mystery reveals itself slowly, track by track, giving it’s genealogy early to coax you in. Further on, it will tell you the intimate details of it’s life and work, until you know the maker of the track like a lifelong friend.”

–Tom Brown Jr.

The Tracker