Fifty years ago, when all the wives stayed home, everyone in the neighborhood knew each other. Today you are lucky if you know your next-door neighbor, never mind someone down the street. Now I know that many of you are not interested in becoming friends with your neighbors, but I want you to think of your neighborhood from an intelligence standpoint.
- Do you know who and how many live in the houses that are close to you? Who is a possible friend or danger?
- Do you know the wild plants that grow near you?
- Do any of your neighbors have a large garden or lots of fruit trees?
- Do you know all the ingress and egress routes from your area, both by vehicle and on foot? Have you walked or drove them?
- Have you walked around your area?
- What are the water sources that are available near you?
- What type of wildlife lives near you?
Now I am not saying to blow your operational secrecy, but walk around the neighborhood, talk to people. You don’t have to become their best friend.
There are many excuses to explain your presence. Exercise is a good one. I am a photograph and often carry a camera to take pictures of plant and birds. A pair of binoculars will also work you are watching birds. No one seems to be afraid of anyone wearing binoculars or carrying a camera. As long as you are not hanging around a school, everyone seems to dismiss you as a harmless tree hugger. If someone approaches, you just explain you are looking at birds or fauna.
With binoculars, I can look at things from a long ways away off, which is often quite handy. With the new digital cameras, you can get great pictures of plants and other things of interest for later reference.
People are used to me wandering around with a camera with a long lens. No one pays any attention to me and I do take a lot of pictures of wildlife and plants. In fact, I even have a website with some of my pictures on the internet.
It does not matter if you live in the city or country you need to know your area; it can make a life or death difference.