Wild Alarmists

Most people these days are fully aware of home security systems, alarms for cars, houses, mailboxes, businesses, and so on. The more imbalance that exists the more alarm systems evolve and spread. The more fear grows the more people seek out alarm systems and security.


Society is not the only place where alarm systems exist and flourish.


In the wild, or perhaps the term “nature” would be more fitting, exists very complex and diverse alarm systems as well. No matter where we travel around the globe you will be able to find these natural alarm systems in place. These do not require fancy wiring, computer chips, lasers, infrared imagery, vibration meters, temperature sensors, DNA sensors, print and retina identifiers, voice recognition devices, or any other technologically advanced systems. All they require is what has been in place for millions of years- the ability to be aware of one’s surroundings.


Every natural place that contains wildlife of any kind will have a natural alarm system built into its natural mechanics. It does not matter whether you are in the tundra, jungles, grasslands, woodlands, deserts, or beach land. The way that natural alarm systems detect is very similar to the way technological ones function. They are specialized in detecting specific images, movements, pressure changes, temperature fluctuations, sound vibrations, and so on. Different species of natural life have evolved to be able to hone in on very specific details in their environment. They are super sensitive because of their awareness. This combined with the direct connection to awareness and survival makes for a very well-made teaching-learning atmosphere. Need creates the best student.


If you are walking through an eastern woodland you may hear blue jays squawking around you. In the tundra of the western United States, the high-pitched squeak of a pika may be set off as you near a certain mound of boulders. Down in the swampland of Florida, you may hear a hush of insects when you walk by. These are examples of alarm calls or natural alarms found in the wild. Each environment has its own specific set of specialized alarmists. Of course, alarms are useless unless those who hear them can understand them, and interpret them. This is the other end of awareness. One must be aware enough to signal an alarm, and the other must be aware enough to hear and understand the alarm.


Some examples of Natural Alarmists are as follows-

  • Birds

  • Pikas

  • Squirrels

  • Marmots

  • Beavers

  • Insects

  • Dogs

  • Frogs

  • The absence of noises- silence

I call the above- 1st level alarmists. This means that they are normally the first ones to sound the alarm of potential danger, and other species react in turn. Many people might think animals like the deer are alarmists, but in actuality, they almost always react to another alarm that has already gone off, and so they themselves are not alarmists. The same goes for the cat family. They are too quiet to be alarmists and many times they are the ones who set off alarms with such creatures as birds. Dogs of course alarm all the time, but their wild kin do not. Coyotes, wolves, foxes, and so on do not alarm but remain hidden and silent. If they do pick up and run from danger, it is almost always because they heard and understood an alarm from the first level alarmists.


Birds are wonderful alarmists! I can sit in the forest near a trail and know when someone is coming my way on the trail about 10 minutes ahead of time. The birds recognize movements that do not flow naturally with the environment. The fact is that most humans who do not live in the wild have forgotten how to move naturally in the wild, and so have taken on a more harsh method of moving. This not only disturbs the wildlife but also scares them because it is foreign. The birds pick up on this as soon as they see it and then sound out the alarm throughout the forest. Jays will take the alarm between 10-15 minutes ahead of the human who is walking along. Other birds sound their own alarms and they will vary in distance and intensity which depends upon the species and their habits. A junco is normally very quiet and so their form of alarm will be much different than the jays. It is quieter, not as noticeable, and more localized. Their biggest alarm is silence.


Squirrels will yell and chatter for a long time when disturbed. This is their form of alarm. However, each species of the squirrel will have its own alarm sequence. Grey Squirrels are very calm and quiet, so their alarm is more dramatic because they normally are not heard. The red squirrel on the other hand is prone to being very noisy, and so their alarm is more difficult to make out amongst their normal state of yelling at anything they think might be disturbing them.


Insects will go quiet when you walk too near. If you have a friend walk along on a summer night and you sit still, you will hear the silence in the area they are walking because they set off the silent alarm. This is in contrast to the normal noise of the insect chorus that is non-stop all night long.


Frogs will listen by feeling for vibrations, which is also part of what many insects do. They can feel your footsteps and will squeak and dive into the water or mud for protection, thus sending out the alarm of an intruder.


The list goes on and on around the world. The fact is that all areas have natural alarms, and to understand them we must become aware ourselves. We must learn to listen to the nuances of the natural sounds and rhythms. You cannot know the land if you do not understand the language of the creatures who live there. They speak of the land’s pulse and sing of its ways. The weasel knows very well the language of those creatures it shares that land with. It understands the alarms of all the creatures because if it is to eat it has to avoid setting off the many alarms around it as it hunts.


To really understand the natural alarm systems of the wild we must discover the many layers of the system to be able to figure out what is the first level, and then see what is simply reacting to the original alarmists.


To really understand the natural alarm systems of the wild we must discover the many layers of the system to be able to figure out what is first level, and then see what is simply reacting to the original alarmists.

Screen Shot 2022-05-28 at 12.43.44 PM.png

Comments

yes, in forested and wooded environments, its primarily bird alarmists, and in open areas, its often the burrowing mammal and it whistle system.

Our tree squirrels bark, softly.

The western Scrub jay is basically mostly in charge out in the west. They were in charge of the alarm system during the afternoon drink session which occurred each day at my water fountain. About twenty other bird species all arrive with the jays, all at the same time. They take turns. There is very little study of the interaction of differing species of birds, but it was quite obvious that the little gold finches appreciated the jays keeping an eye out.

I recall an evening when the fox came through and it was out by where the brown towhees had their nest, low, near the ground, in a large shrub.

The towhees kept whistling a single soft tone. They can only make this single toned "pip" noise and they are trying to use it to lure or distract this fox so it won't find the babies. Flitting around.

You've probably observed the broken wing, "come get me " distraction maneuver, some birds do. Killdeer are famous for it (and we discovered if no human can be seen, a killdeer is virtually silent). Mocking birds do it too.

I was working, pulling up weeds or something and failed to realize this mocking bird was exhausting itself, with the broken wing maneuver. I felt quite badly to realize I was close to a nest so I left.
 
Interesting....I've definitely noticed the blue jays and their particular noise. Unfortunately, they're terrible predators for many smaller birds. Well, I guess everything is a predator, isn't it?

No, we very seldom walk silently in the woods. We're clumsy and twigs are broken. Try as we may, silence isn't used by man and while many cultures still understand its use, not many make use of it.

If there's one thing I do miss it's the forest, walking in it, smelling it, the varieties of ferns, tadpoles in small creeks....the sheer wonder of it all. Fireflies in fields are my favorite....but even they're disappearing little by little.

Unfortunately, we now have things we never even worried about when I was younger.....ticks, animal diseases, mosquitoes. Sometime ignorance truly is a wonderful thing.

Thanks for the lessons @Nord Wolf and @Rufous McKinney. Learning and remembering are always wonderful. Yours, Lenora.
 
No, we very seldom walk silently in the woods. We're clumsy and twigs are broken. Try as we may, silence isn't used by man and while many cultures still understand its use, not many make use of it.
The human is ridiculously loud. If any animals are in the woods, they hear us coming from miles away. Unless your just walking on trails.

I was doing a survey with this young gal who decided a noise we heard in the forest must be a meth lab in the woods and she flipped out on me. I could not get her to calm down or continue the survey. So we left, sounding like a heard of bison. She thinks we are going to be shot at any moment. I realize there is no such thing as quietly sneaking away.

It took as three hours of driving to get to the survey site. I was quite mad. We had to do the whole thing over again. Our boss came with, in case we needed security. There was no meth lab.
 
the blue jays and their particular noise. Unfortunately, they're terrible predators for many smaller birds.
Jays will go after just about anything, and are pretty omnivorous. They plant many of our oak trees. And then also notice the baby bunny.

They also increase around humans and urban areas.

I lived in a remote area and discovered the jays are really quiet there. Way less drama than in town.
 
ticks, animal diseases, mosquitoes. Sometime ignorance truly is a wonderful thing.
well, the ticks and mosquitoes and poison oak/ivy/ stinging nettles...ah it was all there. We just kept persevering.

I'm recalling when we all woke up to discover we'd put our sleeping bags next to a wet place, and giant banana slugs found us in the night. The sound of screaming Girl Scouts.
 
True, we did persevere through mosquito bites (masses of them) treated with calamine lotion, tick bites (but I don't even remember knowing about them), poison ivy, etc. (again treated with calamine). Was there actually anything that lotion wasn't used for?

Thistles? Who even gave them a thought? I don't like mosquito bites, though...dreadful things. Of course we also used scrub boards and Fels-Naptha Soap for washing clothes....some things are definitely better and perhaps being alarmed at everything keeps too many children from being children.

I think the #1 surgery in the U.S. in theearly 1950's was for tonsil and adenoid removals. One hardly hears of that today....yet it was routinely done. On the other hand, polio was a threat that every parent took seriously. Quarantine was still in place for things like measles, etc. No one is quarantined today.
 
well, the ticks and mosquitoes and poison oak/ivy/ stinging nettles...ah it was all there. We just kept persevering.

I'm recalling when we all woke up to discover we'd put our sleeping bags next to a wet place, and giant banana slugs found us in the night. The sound of screaming Girl Scouts.
I think someone a while back mentioned this... but have you ever considered writing a book about your experiences? The line of work you were in certainly would warrant some good tales :)
 
perhaps being alarmed at everything keeps too many children from being children.
Indeed Lenora, times have changed and I hardly recognize the world involving people from when I grew up.

Ha, but yes I remember a number of times lying naked in bed as a child smeared head to toe with calamine on hot humid summer nights... just miserable. :eek:
 
I think someone a while back mentioned this... but have you ever considered writing a book about your experiences? The line of work you were in certainly would warrant some good tales :)
Yes I have...my brain is just no longer cooperating.

My basic career is supposed to have been written up for that target audience. This includes I worked with a famous person now dead. I have an obligation to discuss my work with this famous person.

then: my entire upbringing was unusual and when and where I grew up was extremely unusual and therefore, I have things to say about that. These things and topics are entirely incompatible with: the career, science, etc.

Meanwhile: I was going to write a fictional account of the arrival of a grandparent in Jamestown, in 1607. I was so excited about this novel I would write. I spent alot of time considering it all. Around 2014.

The conclusion of that? I had a strange feeling one day in the bathroom, rushed to the computer, typed several words and out comes: the Novel about my Grandparent has already been written. By a distant Cousin in Three volumes.

Incredibly- somebody else actually DID exactly what I "intended" to do. She even "channeled gramma Cecily".

I ordered her novel, book 1. It was on my shelf, and I was generally very bothered that my dream, was already somebody else's manifestation.

Saved it to read on a trip, but instead, the house burnt up and the book is gone.
 
I ordered her novel, book 1. It was on my shelf, and I was generally very bothered that my dream, was already somebody else's manifestation.

Saved it to read on a trip, but instead, the house burnt up and the book is gone.
That is crazy... crazy enough to write a small book just about that!
 
I was pretty mind blown by the entire thing.

This ten year old girl came alone to Jamestown. She is my grandmother: twice. She married four times and was "famous".

Clearly, this is a novel in the waiting. Why would a ten year old girl, come by herself, with no family, to Jamestown in I think its 1609.

So I was briefly genealogy obsessed, joined the crowd. Its a fascinating exercise in Oh, all these people? Came before? And did what?

I figured I"d need to "channel" this grandmother. And thats exactly what this woman says she did in the Intro.

I figured I"d go rent someplace, nearby, for several months of personal research. And for me, the majority of my focus on the story was going to involve...(some revisionist history)...FIREFLIES. That would be the entire theme of My Version of the Story. I can entirely be a 10 year old girl who saw fireflies out there, and isn't going to stay inside the compound.

Well I"m pretty sure fireflies likely do not even feature, in this woman's version. And she is actually a historian, I was going to fake it. And she is out there, and I was going to have to Rent Temporarily.

I was there once, in 1962. I saw the fireflies and have never forgotten.
 
Great story! You can write a story about the historian who stole your story about your grandmother 4 times over and add as many fireflies as you like to it ;)
brilliant solution! I don't need to do any historic research, or rent cabins and I'll use the fireflies I met down where my daughter lives, as surrogates.

I never thought I'd see actual fireflies in my life, ever again.

My childhood memory is: fireflies were there in Richmond Virginia and I simply remember a cousin reaching for a jar up into a tree where several had been captured . I can't actually remember the fireflies themselves. I recall two swans came through, as a creek and woodland were out back of my Uncle's "mansion" (the only family member I know of who qualified to possess a Mansion).

(after playing with children in a "woodlot"..I was informed of water moccasins. And apparently this did not phase me one bit.)

So I had to wait: 66 years. Tens of thousands of fireflies, dancing in this meadow.

It goes to show that life can yield remarkable surprises.

I could write quite a bit about Ancestry research. Mine goes as far back as one can go....Line 1. Cerdic. King of the West Saxons, 519 ad.
 

Blog entry information

Author
Nord Wolf
Views
280
Comments
13
Last update

More entries in User Blogs

More entries from Nord Wolf