Hikers generally follow a trail or path that has been trodden upon to the point of developing a bare path of clay or sand or rock. Yet the beauty that surrounds them; often within inches of the most well traveled path, is breathtaking. When I think about the billions of years it took to bring about such beauty and to find it growing where it may never be seen; the diversity and complexity of this island home takes my breath away. It feels like I am an intruder, a visitor that has stumbled into Eden. When I think of the people that have passed this way; some days, some years, some millennia between their passing … I cannot help but feel responsible for the preservation of this fragile Earth we call home. Although nature has shown itself to be resilient to our presence I fear we will overwhelm even the complexity of life that exists today. It is my fervent prayer that someday we, and I’m talking species, may adopt the hiker’s creed; leave no trace. I don’t know that it is even possible for us to reign ourselves in and place our needs second to this whirling blue ball but I do know that if we do not; nature will reclaim it for us and specifically from us.