Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day-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 and develop a sense of wonder about the natural world.

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

We look up 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 or fish 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 some lunch possibilities in my yard.

"Shoo!" I yell at the hawk, making 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, digging for grubs in the field.

"He is strange looking," says Hannah.

I want my granddaughters to see the deer grazing in the field, or drinking at the pond. 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 wilderness 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 can someday enjoy it as well

Thank you for visiting. Happy Earth Day, everyone!





PS. I had a wonderful visit with my older son and family and I will post a few pictures soon. I know Mckenzie is looking forward to seeing them. I did want to add my own small tribute to Earth Day, first.



Blessings from the woods!

39 comments:

TheWritersPorch said...

My Sweet Renie.......what a wonderful thing you are doing with your grans. They will cherish the memories forever! Happy you had a great visit, mine is still going on!
hugs, Carol

Gramma Ann said...

What a lovely story. And I agree it is wonderful to see and hear the animals and talk of the wonders of creation. How great that you can share all these wonderful things with your granddaughters.

Have a wonderful week with the animals in the woods!

Patti said...

What wonderful things to share with your granddaughters!! They will always cherish!!

Rudee said...

You are a wonderful steward for your property. I'm sure your words will find a way into their hearts.

Brenda said...

I hope you will submit that to be published Renie. It was so refreshing to read for me. Your grand daughters are very lucky to have you! Hugs sent your way for sharing this today!

BClark said...

Wonderful post Miss Renie and so valid. When small my Grandfather taught me the names of trees in Latin, wish I still remembered them. Our children and Grandchildren are the future. Passing on a love for nature will help to make sure that things are preserved. Love your posts and your outlook on life.

audrey` said...

Oh yes! I love the great beauty of nature too. You're the best Grandma, Renie =)

Linda said...

What a wonderful thing to do for your Grandchildren!
I'm so glad I had the chance to raise my Son on a farm...I think every child should spend some time with nature.

I think all the bloggers here should grab our tents, and spend some time with you and nature! lol

Have a Great Day...
Hugs to you!

Patty said...

What a beautiful story Renie, I bet your granddaughters loved every minute they were able to spend with you.

Happy Earth Day to you also.

ancient one said...

Wonderful post Renie...

Mountain Mama said...

How wonderful that you can share these things with your granddaughter's. I'm sure they enjoy it too and will always remember these things their grandma taught them.

Your pond is so pretty. I get blue herons here at my tiny fish pond too, but have to chase them away because they eat my fish. We live close to a large lake though so they won't starve.

Have a great rest of the week Renie.
Hugs!

Margaret Cloud said...

It is nice of you to want all this for the girl's and take the time to inform them about nature. I am sure they appreciate it and will remember it always. Have a Happy Earth Day.

Jaina said...

Armadillos? You actually see real armadillos? I'm so intrigued by this. What a lovely post Renie, thank you for this wonderful tribute!

hippo chick said...

Oh dear Renie, a wonderful, wonderful post. What lucky granddaughters you have.

~hippo hugs~

Winifred said...

This is such a lovely posting Renie. Those grandchildren must love coming to stay with you seeing all these lovely things and having you to show them.

They'll have some fantastic memories. I always remember my grandad taking me across fields next to their house to collect mushrooms at an unearthly hour in the morning when I was only about six years old. Brilliant!

Red said...

Happy Earth Day

Gramma Ann said...

Hi Renie,

Thanks for all your encouraging visits each evening. I always look forward to your comments. As to the answer to your question, No it is not my bird, we took a picture of it at a small zoo last July, back in Maryland when we were visiting the family.

Nancy said...

Bet they hated to leave you! What a great time for them to share with you. You are very wise in Nature, and it's wonderful that you can share that with your granddaughters! They will always remember times like this spent with you...memories were made!!! We have our own memories of our grandparents, and now you are building memories for your grands. Wish I had some grandchildren! You are truly blessed, Renie!

((( HUGS )))

Deborah Wilson said...

Beautiful post, Renie. And these lessons will always remain with the girls - always.

Janice Thomson said...

I want to be an adopted grand-daughter!
I love what you are teaching these girls. What a sweet and compassionate lady you are Renie. It is an honor to visit here and read you.

Mary said...

Renie,

I'm so glad that you are teaching your granddaughters about your woods and the creatures that live there. I have also taught the boys about rural living since the time they were very young. If the weather warms up, we're due for our annual hike in the woods.

Glad to know that you enjoyed your company. I'm sure a great time was had by one and all.
Blessings,
Mary

Kathleen said...

I am so glad to meet you. The relationship you have with your grandaughters is wonderful. It is very special that you teach them the ways of the earth.

Midlife Mom said...

What a lovely, lovely post Miss Renie! Your grandchildren will never forget all these wonderful things that you are teaching them. I too love sharing all the beautiful wildlife with my grands and they love it. Making memories!! xoxox

Reader Wil said...

Dear Renie, you are such a dear! And a far better grandmother than I am. With me it's just the other way round. When I am in Australia I ask one of the children to walk with me on the property, which is mainly rainforest. All the children know a lot about plants and animals. Thanks for this post Renie. Thanks also for your kind words on my blog!

kkryno said...

Oh, Renie!

When I read the part about the snake in the chicken soup, I thought that woman is crazy! Then I read that part again, and realized that I must need another cup of tea to get a bit more focused. ;0)

Beautiful post. My Grama Lillian was a lot like you in that she loved all things nature and was wonderful in sharing her knowlege with loved ones. She was also like you; as she was great fun! I'm so glad that you are giving your grand-daughters a priceless gift: time with you!

Love, Vikki.

Lucy Stern said...

It is a good thing to teach the kids. I love going out on a clear night and looking at all of the stars....We get so much light around here that it is hard to see many of them, even on a clear night... When we would go camping up in the mountains of Colorado, I would love the still DARK nights and the millions of stars up above....I sure do miss that.

Jmkdreak said...

Awe, how nice!
Happy Earth Day again.

xox

Sandy said...

What a beautiful beautiful post. I wish I had had a grandmother like you, mine passed away when I was just a toddler and never knew them.

What a wonderful gift you give to those grandchildren.

Michele said...

What lovely things to share with your granddaughters, Renie!

I also love the whippoorwill--it's my favorite!! :-)


*smiles*
Michele

Mississippi Songbird said...

I love this post. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.. God Bless you... Have a great weekend!

2 LMZ FARMS said...

I know that your Grandchildren really love and enjoy you taking the time to introduce them to all things and the animals. The next time you go to Tunica let me know a couple of days ahead of time. I would love to meet you there. I'm about 1 hour and 45 minutes from there. Hope you and yours have a blessed day.

Elenka said...

You're a great grandma. Enjoy the weekend.

steven said...

brilliance as always - memories that are transferred from generation to generation-greeting for you - steven may

Kathleen said...

WOW! I think that I'm on the cusp of becoming a grandmother. (No one's pregnant or anything, just that period in life.) I treasure the opportunity to ready your ways with your grandkids. You're my role model forever and ever. Such a grandgift!

Susie said...

This is a great tribute to Earth Day.
How fortunate that you live in such a scenic area that is perfect for teaching your granddaughters about all the wonders of Nature!
xo

Rachel said...

You are a wonderful grandma that is making lasting and meaningful memories that they will never forget!! Good for you!!!

Sammy said...

This is a beautiful post, Renie. I really enjoyed reading it and imagining the beauty you describe.

I am creating a curriculum right now for a group of children in a very poor section of the Bronx. (A school I taught at last year.) These children have little or no opportunity to get close to nature, so the curriculum is on the green spaces in the Bronx. (There are 7000 acres of park in the Bronx!) It is so amazing to take these children into the woods and give them an opportunity to closely observe trees, birds, rivers, and natural wildlife. It is all so exotic to them, as they are only used to seeing buildings and sidewalks. They are great kids and I know they are deeply affected by their daily surroundings. Bringing them out of their neighborhood and into nature has really opened up their world!

Have a great day!

Kathleen Marie said...

Ah.... Beautiful post! I am the same way. I just have Alexys as you know but she loves it when the deer come into the yard. She is finally calling them deer and not "puppies". She loves the birds at my feeders. It is wonderful that we can share out love of nature with them.

Your grands will cherish this post!
Hugs!

Rosy said...

What a beautiful post Renie...

I hope you are okay way out there in them there woods.

Rosy