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Reality is in the eye of the beholder

March 17, 2012
Kevin Williams - Grundy County Conservation Director , Reinbeck Courier

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever watched a reality show? Unless you live under a rock in a cave, or have been locked away in a castle tower or dungeon, it would be hard for me to believe that you haven't watched a part of at least one of the multitude of reality shows that are sadly so popular today. And are they really reality shows at all? The reality for me is that they do prove that there are people who are willing to do anything for money or fame, or even the name of love.

The reality shows that I really do enjoy are the wildlife web cameras. And if you will consent that these are reality shows then there are many, many wildlife reality shows available right now. One of the most famous has to be the Bald Eagle cam in Decorah. I learned that there was one at Lake Red Rock too. Imagine, two right here in Iowa and there might be more.

I learned that the one at Red Rock is named after Gladys Black Iowa's Bird Lady that made bird-watching in the Red Rock area famous. When I visited the Red Rock cam, I learned that the eagles had flown the coop! They had taken up residence nearby. Now that is reality. People plan and work around this nest counting on the Eagles to remain - and the Eagles don't cooperate. The posting at the site said that there was some prime Eagle real estate available and I'm sure that the creators of the site are hoping a new house hunting Eagle couple will sign the papers real soon.

So wildlife reality shows got me thinking about what it would be like if the networks would utilize wildlife participants rather than humans. Let's see:

The "Bachelorette" might use a pretty little whitetail doe deer. The show would revolve around this very eligible doe just entering the fall breeding season we call the rut. Trail cameras would be located very strategically throughout the woods and fields of her home range. This way her every movement would be recorded. Action would start off slowly, but as the season progressed, whitetail bucks of all shapes and sizes would frantically run around the woods seeking to get the doe off alone from the rest of the group of males seeking her attention. Each buck sure that he is the most desirable and worthy of her favor.

Then in desperation there would be fighting among themselves ending with the weaker males being eliminated from the contest. In the end, the doe chooses a mate that she feels is the best of the bunch.

Wait a minute. Come to think of it. Cameras watching their every move. Males acting stupid. Each of them thinking they are the very best choice for the female. That's no different from the real show right now.



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