Friday, July 31, 2009

Why I do What I Do

Yes, today was pretty cool. It was the last day of nature day camps for the season. And for some odd reason, it was chock-full of memorable moments.

Nature did abound today. I couldn't believe all the cool things we observed. And as a blogger, one realizes some days there is hardly anything to talk about, a virtual drought. But today was a gullywasher. There will be many more posts stemming from this day.

But my most memorable moment today was shared with one other person, a very wee one. This camper, just minutes before, was being a typical six-year-old boy bouncing on a picnic table, which he was told NOT to do. Boom, off he fell, landing on his head.

The other children headed down to the picnic area to have lunch and romp on the playground. I stayed behind in the building while the little camper iced his noggin. As we sat there quietly watching out the window, the wildlife decided to visit the sandy-haired boy, one by one.
First came the Red Squirrel. It scampered right up to the window and proceeded to devour the pile of black sunflower seed meant for the songbirds. Usually the Red Squirrel is skittish and darts around frantically. This time it popped up on the platform feeder next to the window and let us watch him, just inches away. The large blue eyes that were brimming with tears just moments before were soon filled with wonder.

Next came the cardinals, then the goldfinches, then the nuthatches. All curiously coming up to the window, not at all bothered by our presence. We watched the goldfinch eat a sunflower seed and spit out the hull. "I do that, too!" exclaimed the camper.

I grabbed an Identiflier so we could listen to the visitors' songs. Soon the many questions came in rapid succession. "What is that bird? What does it sound like? What do woodpeckers eat? Do their tongues ever get stuck in the tree? Why do they call it a Mourning Dove?" And I loved every minute of it.

I told him to watch the red flowers for the hummingbird. He had never seen a hummingbird, so he asked all kinds of questions about what it would look like and how big it would be. And then it came, buzzing around the cardinal flower, lapping the nectar from the flowers with its long tongue. He was quite impressed with the "honey bird", as he called it. What a thrill- a child's first glimpse of such an amazing animal.

And as I sat there with my injured camper, answering his many, many questions, I realized this is what it is all about. I truly enjoy sharing the wonder of nature with another. I love seeing their world open up and their realization of how miraculous it all can be. Yes, there is no better way to spend a day!
(Goldfinch photo from Wikipedia)

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