Friday, November 14, 2008

Sense of Wonder

It's raining here today, but a few days ago the sun shined brightly and my sister, her step-daughter and I went for a hike. My varying jobs over the past 8 years have two things in common - nature and kids. I never quite knew the answer to the question "what do I want to be when I grow up?", but I always did know I want to be outdoors and that I love sharing nature with children. I am not working directly in environmental education right now, but our hike reminded me of just how grand it is to be outdoors and see a youngster's eyes light up at an insect, or seeds or even a pile of scat... to experience fully in another individual a sense of wonder.

Here Lo and Mallory extract seeds from gray-headed coneflower...

a close look at the seeds; next time you find some - smell them, it's delightful!

Gathering more seeds - for spreading around of course.

Prairie grasses grow tall creating fun tunnels for kids...

Oh yes - a pile of scat. It seems a coyote loves to walk this path and leave his markings every so often. We discovered lots of hair and bones in the scat (using a stick) and saw some deer tracks close by.

A log is a perfect pretend train, is it not?!

Some of you may recognize the title of this blog as the title of Rachel Carson's book - The Sense of Wonder. It's a wonderful read with inspiring photographs. Here's a quote taken from that book:

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder...he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in."

Kudos to all of you who share this with your children or children that pass through you life.


  1. It was a fun day! The kids are very blessed to have such an awesome knowledgeable inspirational aunt/uncle pair!

  2. What a lovely family you have. I love going out with my kids, I get to see things through a childs eyes again.


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