[Friends: I know this doesn’t have a lot to do with landscaping, but it’s such a moving story that I thought I should share it with you. Enjoy and be inspired. OD]
A Santa Barbara resident credits Facebook with rekindling his love affair with nature after decades of estrangement. Self-employed SEO consultant James “Rico” Innes says that the pressures of a busy life drew him away from his relationship with the natural world, but Facebook brought him back. “When I was younger, nature experiences were a major part of my life,” reports Innes, “I used to spend hours watching National Geographic specials on television, and I would really enjoy going to those old Nature Company stores and playing with all the cool gadgets. And of course I loved to watch sunsets from the balcony of my condo, but I just don’t have time to look at them anymore.”
The pressures of career, family, and heavy smart phone use had pretty much eliminated Innes’ contact with the natural world. But this past spring, the old yearnings called to him, and he sought a way to get back to his roots. “One day, I was looking for Katy Perry’s Facebook page, thinking maybe I would friend her, or at least check out her profile. I mistakenly typed ‘Kath’ instead of ‘Katy’ and this page on Kathmandu came up. I spent half an hour looking at these great images of mountains, and one thing led to another and pretty soon I had friended all the major peaks of the world: Mt. Whitney, Mt. Everest, K2, Kanchenjunga, Annapurna, the works. It was so exhilarating that I realized I had to spend more time in nature.”
Since then, Innes has friended spirit bears, monarch butterflies, Bactrian and dromedary camels, sea anemones, the Gobi Desert, redwood trees, mycorrhizal fungi, seventeen species of nutria, forty-seven kinds of metamorphic rock, Shamu the whale, E. coli O104:H4, and an orphaned manatee in south Florida.
Innes says, “My life is really back on track. I’m looking forward to so much more. Celebrities are great, but there’s nothing like nature.” Innes says he might even check out some YouTube videos of local beaches if he can find the time.