I have been to the dentist many, many times in my life but you seriously do not want me to do any root canal work on you. Surely you would not even completely trust my 'professional dental opinion' on what, why and how of the dental world?
Why is it then that some people rate themselves as 'experts' when they come to the bush? Don't get me wrong, anybody can read a book or two and have quite an 'informed opinion' but surely there is a line.
I am not saying that qualified / experienced field guides know everything but surely they have a slightly more 'educated opinion' then visitors to Game Reserves (or at least I hope so... but that is a whole different discussion!)
I believe that everybody can learn something from everybody else - especially in the natural world. There is just too much information and details out there for any one person to know it all so why challenge everything that gets said with a 'I-got-this-from-a-book-that-was-published-in-1980-knowledge'??
It is a privilege to be out in nature and share all the magical moments so why does everybody not just do exactly that... share. Moments, images, info?
I truly believe and feel that we can all learn so much more, whether through an educated, experienced guess or friendly, open discussion rather then try and have an old fashoined 'pissing-contest' as to whose knowledge is the best. The field guides out in the field are there because of a passion for what they do. A love for a nature. If everybody could be open-minded and share information and their passion in a constructive way perhaps we could create an all round better understanding of the fragile sense of nature.
So... to all the 'Fanie Veld-Kenners' out there - next time why not take a moment to listen and (hopefully) learn to what nature can teach you - there is ALWAYS something new to learn. Even if you knew something, isn't it nice to hear someone elses take on it?
Alternatively, keep on living in a world where giraffes hunt in packs and lions pull people out of moving vehicles but remember... You are NOT a dentist!
Anyway, just a couple of random thoughts! :) I absolutely love what I do and along with that comes the sharing information, the resonsibility of trying to correct misconceptions and the challenge of creating a better understanding of the natural world around us.
Until next time, I look forward to hearing from you!