Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Walk in the Woods

Saturday mornings we find ourselves walking the trails of Bastrop State Park. We have been doing so for over a year now. Consistently, we have seen groups of boy scouts and their leaders around the lake as well as families with children walking in the primitive camping area, exploring nature and testing their mettle in a setting beyond the normal creature comforts of home and hearth. And it is good.

Some of these have carried binoculars; some have spent time overturning rocks. Some have concentrated their gaze on the forest canopy; others have their attention drawn to the forest floor. Pine Warblers calling in early spring and Summer Tanagers in late spring are so noted. Rabbits and Copperheads rustle through the leaves and try to blend into the surroundings hoping that the youth around them will not notice.

It is on these outings that I find myself thinking of my youth when my father brought me my own first pair of binoculars. I do not think he had a clue as to how that would shape the rest of my life, nor did I.

I would encourage you to take your children and grandchildren to the woods. Provide them with binoculars and field guides and take the time to learn about the natural world around them. I find myself grinning when I see a young person staring in awe of a male Rose Breasted Grosbeak or dumbfounded because the male and female Painted Bunting look so different in coloration. Celebration comes at the moment that young person says to me, “There’s Peter, Peter, Peter”, and without ever seeing the bird knows it is a Tufted Titmouse.

A walk in the woods, a simple gift, time well spent, who knows what such might mean to our youth and the future.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home