Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nature Girl

My first-born is my little "nature girl." She astonishes me in so many ways. She will sit in our lovely back yard, which backs up to a protected woodland/swampland, for as long as I'll allow her to do so. Last week was an amazing week for her. One day, she discovered a turquoise bird's egg on the sidewalk that passes between our yard and our neighbor's yard. It ends at the forest, suggesting that one day they'll continue it all the way back to a path in the woods. For now, it ends at the tree line. I love trees. Our back yard is different from most others in the neighborhood, for we have planted Arborvitae and other Evergreens on both sides of our yard's borders. At the sidewalk, my first-born discovered the previously mentioned turquoise egg. It was slightly cracked. Cracked enough that we could see the developing bird opening and closing it's doomed mouth. Here was a lesson in nature. My love, I explained, it is unlikely this sweet bird would survive. She wanted to build a new nest for it. I explained the laws of nature as gently as possible, and we set the egg close to where we often see other Robins, where it might keep warm enough and safe enough to survive. She sat in the yard for hours. I could watch her from my deck or kitchen window when cleaning or preparing meals. She talked to the doomed bird in the egg and did her very best to help it survive.

A day or two later, only fragments of the egg survived with no sign of the baby bird. My daughter was at peace. A day or two after that a large snapper dug a hole in my back yard. We found it on the second to last day of school, vigorously digging and spewing dirt all about near the same sidewalk we found the egg. A raccoon who lived in a tree nearby was not shy, showing his interest. The turtle persisted and was nowhere in sight several hours later. Sadly, the next morning, the eggs were all over the grass and sidewalk. No eggs survived. This girl, who loves "Nat Geo Wild" and "Animal Planet" understood the course that Nature had taken. She was at peace. Sad, but at peace.

Then, a gift arrived for her 6th birthday. Caterpillars. Soon, they changed to butterflies. How lovely. This lesson of natures gifts and hardships. And all of this in one thrilling week.

More to come...

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