I remember as a child growing up in Ohio and Wisconsin I used to see animals everywhere; deer, birds, raccoons, squirrels were all very common. When I moved to Florida at 14 I was introduced to a whole new spectrum of animals: toads, frogs, Luna moths, snakes and a tone of bugs.
I have always loved animals. They were a constant in my life, like the stars. It didn’t matter where you went they were there too, in startling variety. When I met my best friend in high school she quickly educated me in all the cool critters of Florida. Being a life long farm girl she knew lots.
She taught me to hunt for critters things under rocks and logs; to dig around for stuff. Always keeping in mind that we were messing with them, so you had to be on guard for the rare reprisal.
Because of all this I unconsciously look for animals where ever I go. From the smallest baby toad, to the scissor tailed fly-catcher; they bring that child like wonder to my heart. This picture is of a turtle that my husband and I stumbled upon while walking at a local nature reserve. We could have easily missed him but he happened to move at the right time and the sound gave him away.
It was magical to see him trundling along through the underbrush thinking nothing of it. I worry for these wonderful creatures. How can they possible survive when the world is covered in pavement? Where will the bird’s nest when the trees are striped for development? I’m not saying the all development is bad. But I would hope that consideration is given to the natural world around us.
I have a small back yard with bird feeders. Toads hide in corners and under rocks. We have found a couple of ground snakes. It makes me feel good that our back yard is a haven in the midst of a city. Do what you can to help nature out, once it is lost it can never be recreated. And I want every child to have the chance to marvel at birds eggs in the spring, have a pet caterpillar or stand in hushed silence when they see their first deer. It reminds us we are not alone and care takers to so much more than concrete and steel.