The Adventure Continues…

No Do-Overs In Nature

by | Jan 23, 2019

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
― Dorothea Lange

There are no do-overs in nature. No instant replays. There’s no response when you yell, “Cut. Do it again. From the top,” so you can video record what you witnessed. Nope. Nature does not do second-takes. Too bad, because you missed something awesome.

Thursday morning, as I was washing dishes, I heard an odd noise on the mat I have on the ground outside of the camper in front of the door. I turned around to see a mid-sized axis deer (also known as chital) running between the camper and picnic table shelter. Right behind the deer was a coyote chasing after it across my site through the cactus and into the shrubbery.

I watched in awe that I was seeing this chase take place in front of me and not on a BBC wildlife program. My instinctive reaction was to locate my cell phone and record the event. As you’d suspect, they were out of sight before I could pick up the cellphone.

A moment or two later, the coyote called out to the pack. It didn’t take long for the pack to respond to the howl. I understand a few of you wished the deer got away and the coyote lost out like Wile E. Coyote did back when I was a kid. And I know what I just wrote is going to upset some individuals. I had a few people mentions their displeasure when I shared the event on social media. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into the whole circle of life rant and beat the drum of a coyote gotta eat what a coyote hunts. Instead, I’ll share my other experiences here at the campground.

My stay at South Llano River State Park, west of Junction, Texas, was peaceful, relaxing and I wrote a lot. The young man at the State Park Headquarters who registered my initial three night stay shared with me that they have a lot of wildlife here. I should expect to see wild turkeys, jack rabbits, deer, armadillos and hear the coyotes at night.

The second day of my stay, I walked along the trail that follows the South Llano River. In the previous post [In The Bathouse], I shared what I noticed in regards to the debris from the flood they endured in October from the heavy rainfalls. I walked that area of the park several times and each time I cannot image what it had to have been like to witness the flooding. I spoke with one of the park’s volunteers and a park ranger about the devastation. The ranger stated it was a thirty-four foot wall of water caused by the fourteen inches of rain that fell over a twenty-four hour period that made its way down the riverbed and across the low lying areas in its path. Wow. I extended my hand in front of me and guessed at the height to visually comprehend the depth of fourteen inches. That’s an incredible amount of rain.

He said that the water didn’t reach the campground loop where I was staying. The entrance into the park was under water so anyone wanting to leave were escorted off the property via a back entrance that’s not for public use. Several of the campers chose to ride out the flood. Think of the stories they’re going to tell! That would be one of those conversations that starts with, “You’re not gonna believe the shit that happened to me at South Llano River State Park!”

The other nature-type thing that happened during my stay at this campground involved red cardinals. They are majestic birds. To me they are symbolic. They serve as a reminder of the phoenix rising within, passion, creativity and message from a dear friend of mine that passed away last summer.

Thursday morning, as I was writing one of the books I’m composing (yes, I am actively working on two books at the same time in addition to re-branding and, and, and…), I heard this weird nails on metal noise outside the camper. Remember, this is the same day I had the coyote and deer run within one to two feet from my screen door. So, I look. Nothing. A few minutes goes by and I hear the noise again. This time I see a red cardinal perched on the handrail next to the door. He’s sitting there looking at me as if studying my eyes. I reach for my cellphone to take a picture and poof! he’s gone. Darn it.

Fast forward to Friday morning when, again, I’m writing content in the rough draft of the book. I paused and became heavily involved in a couple of conversations within a two Facebook groups. The AHA realizations I was having in the written dialog were walloping me left and right. Out of the corner of my eye I can see a male and female red cardinals on the ground trying to get my attention. I ignore them and continue writing. WHOP!!! The male cardinal flies into the window inches away from my head. He got my attention.

He stood on the picnic table watching me as I was peering out the window watching him. We watched each other for a few moments and then he flew away. I’m still decipher the message he wanted me to receive. The ironic thing is, each time I tried to take a photo of him he flew away.

I’m curious. What is the message you think the red cardinals is sharing with me? What wild life photo opportunities have you missed?

Along the way…

Lovin' me some COLOR!
The last evening at Huntsville State Park.
Park area reserved for wild turkeys.
Along the desert hiking trail.

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About The Author

CK Kochis

I am a writer; it's what I do. My mission in life is to guide women exhausted from nurturing others and the stagnation of daily routines to ignite self-love through the power of their words. I am utilizing my Integrative Nutrition Health Coach education as the foundation of to create a platform for coaches and leaders to share pearls of wisdom and professional insights. I wrote, designed and published “Get A Compass Not A Clock” and “UnLeash Your Story: A Journal Writer's Guidebook”. My virtual assistant clients keep me creatively busy, while my grandsons teach me about the importance of play.


  1. Heather

    Cardinals are known to bring messages of others who have passed over. A visitation from a loved one. They also carry the message that one must know one’s own true self and then the road to true authentic happiness begins being revealed as you move forward.

    • C.K. Kochis

      Thank you for your interpretations and insights, Heather.

  2. Barbara Parcells

    I always think of messages from Spirit when cardinals fly into my life. They remind me to keep one foot in the material world and the other in the spirit world. They also tell me that someone “up there” is communicating with me. As for the whole deer thing, it would have been torture for me not to try and stop what was inevitable. It may be the way life is, but I don’t have to like it!

    • C.K. Kochis

      Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights with cardinals, Barb.

      In regards to the circle of life, I try my best not to interfere with wildlife. In this case it all happened so fast; I couldn’t have done anything different.

  3. Pamela

    Hi Cindy, Sounds like you’re having quite the adventures! Thanks for sharing your recent wildlife interactions with us. I have no idea what the cardinal was trying to tell you. Perhaps go inside and ask? I look forward to future episodes!

    • C.K. Kochis

      I am having the grandest experiences on this adventure! Thanks for hanging out with me on this journey.

  4. Vatsala Shukla

    Not sure about the specific messages of the Cardinals, Cindy, but I often see birds in the garden when I’m out there with my pet and I ask the question in my mind ‘Bird, what message do you have for me?’. I often get a completely unrelated thought and act on it.

    Coyotes and chitals, wow!

    I remember the time I was at the Chitwan Lodge in Nepal on an assignment and a tiger killed a deer a few yards from my cottage. I heard some noise at night and luckily didn’t open the door. I found out about it the next morning. I love wildlife but not becoming someone’s meal. 🙂

    • C.K. Kochis

      Whoa! A tiger? Yeah, good thing you didn’t open the door and become dinner.

      I have an idea what the message is (actually I am certain of it). I, too, sit out in nature and listen; simple be immersed in nature. There’s great wisdom to be shared and received. Thank you for your pearls of wisdom, Vatsala.


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