Thursday, September 20, 2007

Some Things I Want My Granddaughters To Know

Today was a fun day, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Of course, since I got home later than I should have, I scurried to get a few chores done. Many hungry mouths were waiting anxiously, thinking I had forgotten them. A little chickadee was so happy that I was refilling the feeder, it "dee dee dee'd" at me joyfully, almost landing on my head!

Since I have had two busy days, with little time for a new blog entry, I thought I'd post an old essay of mine tonight. A shortened version, but one that has been published a couple of times. I hope you enjoy it.

"Some Things I Want My Granddaughters To Know"

I live in a beautiful rural area, and when my three city girl granddaughters come for a visit, I want them to learn more about the natural world.

I tell my granddaughters about the wild creatures that inhabit my woods, fields and pond.

I tell them the names of the birds that frequent the feeders in the summer, or winter. I show them the great blue heron that visits the pond in hopes of catching a frog dinner. They think he is "cool" looking. And so he is!

Later, we watch a red-tailed hawk soar gracefully above the field, and land on a limb of the dead oak, eyeing the chickens in my yard.

"Shoo!" I yell at the hawk, while my granddaughters giggle. I show my granddaughters the beautiful raccoons and homely opossums that visit my yard at night. Sometimes we see an armadillo, too.

"He is strange looking," says Hannah.

I want my granddaughters to see the deer grazing in the field, especially the rare albino doe that is so beautiful it takes ones breath away. And early mornings, I want them to hear the wild turkeys gobbling. If we're lucky, we can catch a glimpse of them, too. I tell my granddaughters about some of the scarier creatures that live around here. Like the huge blacksnake that sometimes finds his way into the chicken coop. I want them to know that although I may threaten the blacksnake with my broom, to discourage him from getting the eggs, I would never harm him. I tell them that the blacksnake, like all the other wild creatures, has a right to his existence, too.

In the woods, I teach them the names of the trees; so they know the difference between an oak and a hickory, an elm and a maple. We look up the names of wildflower’s as well, and when we see butterflies alighting on them, we look them up, too. I want my granddaughters to go outside with me on a clear, starry-night, and learn the names of the constellations. If we are lucky enough to see a shooting star, they can make a secret wish on it. Summer nights, I open the windows so they can hear the chorus of a country night, while fireflies flash their perfect lights.

I want my granddaughters to hear the eerie howl of the coyotes, and be glad there is still enough wildness left, where coyotes and other wild creatures can live their lives. I remind them often that the Creator of all this beauty would be pleased, if they worked toward preserving His beautiful creations, so their own grandchildren could someday enjoy it as well.

Meanwhile, spending time together and creating precious memories, is one of the joys of having grandchildren.


Susie said...

Sounds like you live in a delightful area, full of wonderful things. You must have so much fun teaching them!

Michele L. Tune said...

Oh, what a most fabulous post, Renie! I love the photo and I almost felt as if I were right along beside you and your granddaughters as you admired all the splendor Mother Nature has to offer!!!

Once again, you've created a "fantabulous" entry for your growing group of readers!

Thanks so much for sharing!


Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Susie,

It's a lovely area, and I enjoy living here. But you live in a beautiful area, yourself! Your lovely pictures make me wish I could see that part of California.

Thank you kindly for coming by.



Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I love the word fantabulous! And I always enjoy hearing from nice friends like you!

As always,


Mary said...


Is your albino doe still visiting your property? She is absolutely gorgeous.

Like you, I teach my grandsons about nature and they can identify many different kinds of trees and leaves.

Thanks for sharing this delightful part of your Ozarks.

Take care,

deborah wilson said...

Renie - This is a very beautiful essay. I'm sure that as your girls grow into women they will always treasure the good times with you and the things that you taught them.

Renie Burghardt said...


This essay is an older one, and no, the albino doe is no longer around. Rumor has it that she was shot, unfortunately. These days there is a pure white squirrel around here, and I have pictures of him. One day I will post one, I hope.

Thank you for coming by.




Thank you kindly for the nice comment on my essay. I'm glad you enjoyed it. My granddaughters as well as my daughter are quite the nature buffs these days. So I think my little lessons have helped.


Mary said...


It's sad about the albino doe, but I would love to see photos of the white squirrel when you have a chance to post them.

Enjoyed reading this as much now as I did the first one.


Renie Burghardt said...

Mary, I will post them as soon as I am able to upload them. My USB Port doesn't seem to be working. I have bunches of photo's I've taken with my new camera, and I can't wait to use some of them.

Just visited Mary's Nook. Love the pictures of the little goats.

Have a nice weekend.


ancient one said...

I enjoyed that. My SIL is a Wildlife Officer and his children can tell me more about nature than I could ever tell them. I love seeing the animals from a distance. Usually with me looking from a window safely in my house...LOL

2 LMZ FARMS said...

There is just something about living in the country. I guess I'm lucky to live where I do. Wouldn't know what to do or how to act living in the city. Hope you and yours have a blessed evening.

Merle said...

Hi Renie ~~ What a great essay, thank you for posting it and as well as teaching your grandchildren, you have
shown me what is in your area. That
was so good -- well done.
Thank you for your visit to my blog and for your nice words. How nice that you knew Dorothy Fuldheim I had not heard of her until I found that comment. Take care, my friend, and watch out for that black snake !!
Love, Merle.

Renie Burghardt said...

Thank you kindly Ann, Laura, and dear Merle, for your comments.

Blacksnakes aren't too bad, Merle. It's the copperhead snakes one has to be leery of.

But living in the country is still the best!

Blessings to you all!


Jmkdreak said...

They love animals and nature and
being outdoors, they "know" thanks to you. xoxox

Tina Coruth said...


I well remember this beautiful essay and thoroughly enjoyed reading it again. It's a precious gift you've shared with your grandaughters. I'm sure they love every minute they spend with you in your beautiful Ozarks.

I had to smile when I read about the chickadee almost landing on your head. I know what you mean. There have been times when I fill the feeder and then need to quickly step out of the way! LOL

Thank you for the link to my blog. I happily put a link to this one on mine. :-)


Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Tina,

Chickadees are one of my favorite little birds. They are so social.

Thank you for commenting and for the link back to me. Hope you have a lovely weekend.


PS. Writes with Feathers in My Favorite Blogs, is Anne's blog, in case you haven't checked it out yet. She is still the bird lady of Alabama!