Knowing the nature nearby

A tree canopy at dusk, with about a dozen peafowl nesting in its limbs
Behold, a peafowl tree!

My collegial book group recently read Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods. I did not agree with every one of the author’s points, but I was intrigued by the idea of intimately getting to know the place where you are. Knowing the plants and animals and soil and waters you encounter throughout the day and in each season– when do the violets bloom? Where do the animals hunt and where do they live?

So I’m walking my own neighborhood and the trails nearby. When a busy day required a nightfall walk, I was amazed to find this tree full of nesting peafowl. Each lump in that photo is a peacock or peahen – during the day they roam my neighborhood looking for seeds and treats, the males shrieking and the females making a certain click/bonk noise.

And then there’s the other place I spend much of my time-Emerson. We are fortunate to have an oasis of green space with squirrels and songbirds, hawks and lizards. If you’re here at dusk, you might have seen the bats coming out, or even one of the yellow-crowned night-herons! We’ve got a treasure trove of trees, our pocket prairie and planted gardens, as well as the lawn where children play and look for four-leaf clover.

How can you and your family be more in touch with nature? And how can we incorporate more outdoor time in our Sunday School program? I’d love to hear your ideas, especially as we look at options for Summer Sundays! Drop me a note – katy.euuc@gmail.com