During our walks, I will point out to my mum with a wide-eyed expression, “Look, that’s a strange looking tree!”, “Listen to the birds, who is making all that noise? Can you see them?”; “I wonder what these plants/trees/flowers/seeds etc are.” Nature has so much to teach but alas, I am not the brightest student and I’m ashamed of my ignorance. I wish I have the answer to all my questions.
“We were required to write brief essays about any interesting natural phenomena or anything relating to natural history observed on the way to school; the subject was always of our own choosing. Two miles of varied bush track with many creek crossings gave unlimited material for our young, greedy minds. I hope that “observation” is still part of the curriculum of bush schools; it teaches children to discover Nature for themselves, and such intimacy with Nature’s secrets nearly always leads to a strong desire to protect all beautiful and useful wild life. It leads, too, to the quiet philosophy of the true nature-lover, a priceless acquisition which enables one, no matter what the environment, to live apart and view, as from a distance, the hurrying world; something which makes the voice of the grey thrush in your shrubs more desirable than the purr of a thousand-guinea motor car in your garage, makes beetles more interesting than bonds and sunsets more desirable than securities. I know now that the observation lessons in that tiny thatched school were the lessons that did me the most good.”
Bernard O’Reilly, Green Mountains
“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks” John Muir