Sunday, January 06, 2008

Children, naturally...

Nature's Wonders are everywhere, everyday, all around us but we are usually too busy to see, hear or smell them. Not wanting my children to grow up blind and deaf to nature, I started their little lives off with an ongoing Nature class. They would be involved with it every day, in some manner or other. For instance this old picture catches my daughter Brooke marveling at her latest newly identified and long to be remembered, wild plant.

In this case it's a beautiful and delicate little Bloodroot plant. Look closely and you will see where she had just used the "blood" or juice from it's underground root/stem, to paint a picture of it's leaf, on her left hand. Kids are never too young to be awed by nature. Parents are what holds children back from the woods these days. Too many mosquitoes, too much sun, too hot, too cold, to wet, and a bunch of other lame excuses succeed in keeping tons of to-days children in the house too much in their early years. Both of my children could rhyme off a list of bird names to identify every flying thing in our neighborhood, before they even ever went to school!

To do is to learn so every aspect of nature was explored first hand by these youngsters, with dad always there for guidance and encouragement to continue their path. By the time they were 6 and 5 they could gather the proper materials to prepare and light their own small beach fires in the simple "Indian style" manner, I had shown them, the year before. All of this cool stuff was either shot with a camera or video taped and played back to them, as a further learning tool as well. Somehow all this started to mature them pretty fast and by the time they were 7 and 8 they were little walking, experienced, bush encyclopedias with proper manners and their own unique styles already.

In this close-up shot, my son Lee, gets treated to the old, "lame-wing" display, put on by a Killdeer, that few other children have ever witnessed.

Why deprive your children of all this kool Nature stuff, if you are lucky enough to even have children? Should you not be giving them EVERYTHING you possibly can? Learning about nature starts as you walk out the door of your house, no long distance traveling involved and no entry fees either. Man, get those kids of yours out there in the woods and down by the rivers. Stop denying them the wonderful gift of learning about all of nature's free gifts. Help them to get involved in something, anything, outdoorsy. You owe it to them. Or you could just be content to have kids that don't know a Spruce tree from a Juniper bush or a red breasted Robin from a freakin' Seagull but are in the know about all the names of all the players in a bunch of video games, and what they can do...Now that will really help them in the future, NOT!

Your children are your future, please do more about encouraging them to get into Nature related stuff. You, and they, will benefit from it, guaranteed! Well, at least if my own kids are any proof of it, that is...


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