Paths to Nature
- Created: Thursday, 05 January 2017 13:09
A little girl of about 5 years old, hops along the stepping stones of her Grandmother’s garden. Stopping under a coniferous tree she spies the lovely blue of a cracked egg shell. “Look! a Robin’s egg!” says Grandma. It is around this time that the little girl decides, blue is my favourite colour, Robin’s egg blue.
Later on Grandma laments the small, dark and speckled birds, “Starlings, those awful things. They’ll kick other bird’s young out of their nests Somewhere in the mind of that little girl the concept of an invasive species takes a very rough form, waiting to be molded and put to good use.
The next day while watering the garden, Grandma finds a fuzzy bee buzzing helplessly in a pool of water. Little bright eyes watch with wonder as Grandma gently lifts the bedraggled bee onto a stone to dry. “Let’s call her Isabelle the Bee.” Every time a particularly plump and fuzzy bee is spotted in the Garden, it’s considered a visit from Isabelle the rescued bee. Perhaps, Isabelle was in fact a male worker bee, but what the child remembers most from this is that bees are good, bees are not scary.
A single father who loves to hunt and fish, takes his little girl out to forests and lakes in search of game. She loves to reach into the water, sometimes leaning in a bit too far. “There’s not a lake in the CRD you haven’t fallen into,” says Dad.
This outdoorsy Dad takes his growing little girl fishing on the ocean, but she is more interested in what she can see and less in what she can catch. Sea stars, Dungeness Crabs, Spot Prawns, Rock Cod, Salmon, Seals, wow! “Can we stop along this beach, Daddy?” Among the beach rocks the little girl stands holding a sun-bleached jaw bone. “Look at those flat teeth for grinding, it’s a deer’s jaw,” says Dad.
Ranging across hill, bluff, and meadow the not so little girl follows deer trails in the Sooke Hills collecting wildflowers. One of every type, until she can’t hold anymore, to make a bouquet for someone special. She creates her own names for plants along the way. Squid Flower is her common name for Miner’s Lettuce with its pink to green radiating tentacles of foliage. Proudly presenting her collection to Daddy, he remarks, “Those flowers are beautiful, but you shouldn’t pick them.” After that, she learns to take photos instead of plucking flowers, and then later to learn their proper names.