The hot weather has finally broke enough that I can sit outside at 7:30am without breaking into a sweat. So, here I am enjoying my coffee and online time on the patio in the backyard. The temperature is perfect. You know that temperature where it’s not hot and not cold, it’s just right. There is a slight movement in the air that I would hardly even call a breeze. It’s more like nature is breathing.
Our backyard is flanked on two sides by woods. There are houses on the other side, but if I turn my chair to face the woods, I don’t even know I am in a neighborhood. The creek to the south of the yard and the many varieties of fruiting trees and shrubs make this a great spot to view wildlife. We’ve seen deer, raccoon, opossom, beaver, mink, rabbit, chipmunk, snapping turtles, toads, and a huge variety of birds.
This morning, I am greeted the high pitched rattle of a flock of cedar waxwings who have invaded the dogwoods and black cherry trees to snatch their berries for breakfast. Right now, I am watching an adult as it flits between 2 or 3 younger birds feeding each one. They are big enough to fly, but haven’t yet learned to feed themselves.
The young robins are hopping in the grass. Their streaky breasts set them apart from the adults. They are hopping and doing a little pecking at the ground, but don’t seem to be making much progress in the breakfast department. Soon, the adults fly in and show the young ones how it’s done.
There is a little chipmunk about 10 feet from me at the edge of the yard making all kinds of racket. I know I am in his way. He likes to streak across the patio from the tall grasses in a bed of mulch to the base of the huge fall-blooming clematis behind me. He makes me laugh.
I love these mornings. Each one is different. The temperature and humidity changes from day to day causing different animals to be out and about. It’s never the same thing twice. It only takes a few minutes each morning to appreciate what God has created and all its diversity. I want my children to have the same appreciation. So, we’ll be adding some more nature time this year. Not so much in a formal nature study. More like sit and listen, sketch and eye spy kind of things. It will be just a few minutes for the kids to observe and learn from nature without making a big deal about it.
Have you ever thought of teaching nature appreciation? How?