By JR Valrey, The Minister of Information
My first love, in elementary school, was always nature. My friends and I would go to ponds and creeks like at Arroyo Park in East Oakland and Crab Cove in Alameda to catch tadpoles, insects, and frogs. My mother catered to my curiosity by buying me animal magazines and cards to learn more about animal behavior. My paternal grandfather watched the animal show daily on PBS, and my maternal grandmother was a master gardener. So I was surrounded by people who had an appreciation for the natural world, and they passed that love down to me.
Now that the internet has brought us deep into the Information Age, billion dollar corporations like Elon Musk’s Neuralink are trying to seduce society into voluntarily becoming transhuman aka cyborgs. For this reason, it is currently even more important for people to be conscious of our connection to nature, and to get in tune with the natural ways that nature corresponds with healing the human body from herbal medicines to the spiritually calming sound of the tide, before we allow it to be destroyed for the myopic dream of a completely digital world, with all of the pollution and depletion of resources to go with it.
Scid Howard is a community scientist, who has developed his own concept for teaching inner-city Black youth about the natural world, called “Trap Nature”. Although he does not have the system’s certifications and licenses aka degrees to call himself a scientist, we call him a scientist because, unlike most school taught scientists, he can tap into a spiritual frequency where he can interact with poisonous and dangerous animals and there is no fear coming from either. He is also a master teacher who can speak the dialect of our children to help them to understand the world around them, as well as inspire some to become scientists. Check out Scid Howard in his own words.
JR Valrey: What inspired your love for animals and nature?
Scid Howard: It has always been in me since I was a small child. I always had a lot of pets. My mom wouldn’t let me have any snakes because she was afraid of them. So when I became an adult, I just went crazy with all the pets I always wanted. I have about 35 snakes now, and counting.
JR Valrey: Was your mother supportive of this interest? If not, how did you deal?
Scid Howard: She was to a degree. She let me have lizards, frogs and turtles, but no snakes. She bought me books with snakes in it though.
JR Valrey: How and when did you start Trap Nature? What is Trap Nature?
Scid Howard: Trap Nature is a lifestyle that I always wanted to live. I’ve just been getting in touch with myself and doing what I love to do in nature, I added the trap to it, as a form of “hood art” in nature. You know, like how we have “Trap Art”? This is a hood’s view of art.
JR Valrey: Can you talk about what happened when you shopped it to a few networks?
Scid Howard: People love the idea. I’ve actually been offered to sell my idea, and work for a few networks to own. I refuse to sell my idea. I’m not doing it for the money anyway. I’m doing it because this is who I am. I’m not for sale. I can sell some of my services though.
JR Valrey: Now that it is winter, what have you been seeing on your hikes throughout the Bay?
Scid Howard: Now since the drought is over, the mammals are back, such as coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions. If you ever want to see any, right now is the best time to look. They have easy access to water now, so they will be in places where they weren’t seen before. I’ve seen about 4 bobcats so far, and found some mountain lion tracks. I see packs of coyotes almost every time I’m out there.
JR Valrey: What kinds of animals can we expect to see when spring hits locally?
Scid Howard: Lots of SNAKES!!. Spring is my favorite time of the year. That’s when the snakes wake up from their winter hibernation. They wake up hungry from the previous long winter, so they are commonly found in large amounts during the spring. Next spring I will be at my local rattlesnake den sights, visiting old snake friends and I can’t wait.
JR Valrey: I have seen you deal with rattlesnakes, cougars, and scorpions, what kind of mindset do you have to have for the animal not to hurt you?
Scid Howard: Confidence. Animals can feel your energy just like a human can. If you are afraid, then they will sense it right away. If you walk in the forest as the number 1 predator, the animals will respect your energy. Basically bring your warrior spirit with you. They have been in contact with warriors for thousands of years. They know what warriors are, so it’s all about you knowing that you are a warrior. Tapping into that energy.
JR Valrey: Where are some of your favorite local places to hike? Why?
Scid Howard: All over the Oakland Hills, Berkeley’s Tilden park, Contra Costa County’s Mount Diablo, Black Diamond Mines, and Richmond’s Wild Cat Canyon.
JR Valrey: Why do you think it is important to teach Black youth to have an appreciation for the natural world?
Scid Howard: I believe we will naturally start to connect to the planet’s energy fields, by plugging back into where we came from. This new artificial world is damaging our natural abilities to connect to everything. This new world is robotic, and is watering down our spiritual awareness and energies.
JR Valrey: How do people keep up with Trap Nature? How do people keep up with you online?
Scid Howard: Follow me on Instagram @officialtrapnature and follow my Facebook page at Scid Howard III “Trap Nature”.