Saturday, April 14, 2012

How Much Caution is Reasonable?

Hawaii Beach Warning Signs
One thing that I often hear and see a lot of are warnings. As a landscape photographer, I naturally enjoy going out and spending some time in nature:  the desert, a slot canyon, the beach, cliffs, mountains, forests, sand dunes. When researching these locations, I often come across warnings. There are warnings about dehydration, falling off of cliffs, being swept out to sea by large waves, automobile failure in the middle of nowhere including flat tires and dead batteries, getting lost, and so much more.

This photograph is great example of this "attitude of caution."  Here there are warnings for jellyfish, man-of-war, waves breaking off of ledges, waves breaking on the shore, strong currents, unstable rocks and no lifeguard to protect you.  After reading the signs, one would be afraid to proceed. These signs were located in a state park on Maui, specifically Black Sand Beach. The beach was beautiful. I did not go swimming.  A wonderful trail goes along the shoreline. I have been in some remote and potentially dangerous areas. This was not one of those places!

I have reached the point where caution seems to be background noise. I do take it with a grain of salt whenever I hear of particular dangers because usually these dangers are nonexistent or they can easily be assessed using common sense.  If I see a ledge with a huge drop-off, I don't go near to it. I take plenty of water, a shovel, and other gear to get myself out of trouble whenever I drive off into the desert.   But if I believed every single morning I read, I would never be brave enough to leave home.  :(

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