Darwin and I don’t do anything special for Valentine’s Day. If we did I’m sure going out for pizza and beer is about as fancy as we would get. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be all about spending time with someone you love and maybe gifting them with lovey things, tokens of your love if you will. There is one thing however that we would never do for each other….
Carve Our Names Into A Tree
It is always so disappointing to see trees mutilated by people professing their love to each other. I personally don’t care that “M & P” are together. If we are being honest with each other, the tree doesn’t care either. Not only is a tree constantly battling to survive but now it has to try to spend energy healing itself thanks to someone’s “love”.
What about all the other people who have to now gaze upon your terrible work “D & J”? Are you even together anymore? Do you plan on coming back to this spot that you blemished with your initials to update us on your relationship status??? I bet not, as this was a purely selfish act with no consideration for the flora or other humans who cringe at the sight of your expression of love.
This all also goes for single people carving advertisements that they were at an exact spot at some point in time; “Brad Was Here”. Like anyone cares! I don’t know “Brad” and actually, hate the fact that he was at the spot because he ruined part of my experience on the trail.
In today’s current technology-dependent society, there are millions of ways to express love and one’s current location with the world so why are people still doing it on trees (not this was ever okay in the first place)? This is also true for other bearers of burden such as shelters, monuments, cliff faces, etc. etc. People hundreds of years ago had no idea what effect carving and defacing rocks would cause but now we do; there is no longer an excuse.
If you celebrate Valentine’s Day tomorrow, please refrain from expressing your love by carving into tree. Instead just recite your poetry into the air not permanently onto a rock. Declare your love for Mother Nature by hugging a tree not carving it up.
Carving into a tree goes against Leave No Trace Principles! Even if you are smart enough to know better, maybe others aren’t! Say something if you see someone leaving a trace!
LNT Principle # 4: Leave What You Find
Avoid Damaging Live Trees And Plants
Leave Natural Objects And Cultural Artifacts
(Disfigured By Love)
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