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I wasn't sure where to post this, as it doesn't seem to exactly fit any of the existing categories here. Hopefully, this is okay.<br><br>
Last April, I put the phrase "at home in nature" on my Treasure Map. I had this idea about spending more time outside and doing active recreational type things, like canoeing. But it hasn't turned out the way I expected. Instead, I've begun noticing the nature in my own yard and neighborhood, and expanded my ideas of what my home is and what it means to be at home in nature.<br><br>
I'm currently in law school, and am taking a class called "Earth Jurisprudence." I've only had one class so far, but I am absolutely in love with the class and the concepts. As part of the class, I am writing weekly journal entries regarding my interactions with nature and how nature affects my life.<br><br>
This board is all about natural living, including (of course!) interacting with the natural world. We have mamas on this forum from all over the world. The environments we interact with are incredibly different -- the climate, the critters, urban or rural. What do you learn from the natural world around you? What do you wish you knew about the natural world where you live? What is it that you actually see when you look out your windows and how does that affect you and the ways you choose to live your life?<br><br>
I thought I'd start a tribe where we can all share these interactions and reflections on our natural worlds. Since I am school, I will probably not post here often, but my posts will be long because I will cut and paste my journal entries. Don't be intimidated by my long posts -- feel free to just drop in a line or two!!
 

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I started by chasing the squirrel off the house, but ended up chasing birds instead. She is probably trying to gnaw her way in to nest, and she’s making good progress. I don’t know why there is a strip of screening underneath the eaves, but we’re going to have to get some that isn’t so flimsy and replace the wood she’s gnawed as well.<br><br>
As I ran out the door, I caught a glimpse of a large brown bird flying away. Before Christmas, I’d been hearing an owl every night, but hadn’t actually gotten eyes on it. I’m pretty sure it is a great-horned owl, and I haven’t seen one in many years. Since it is just after sunrise, perhaps it is the owl going to nest. I grabbed the binoculars off the table and started chasing the bird. Turns out it was actually a red-tailed hawk. A pair of them, in fact. I hadn’t seen any red-tailed hawks around here before. I’ve see at least one of the red-shouldered hawks nearly daily for the last two and a half years. But I haven’t seen any red-tailed here before. The hawks fly faster than I can walk, so I didn’t get close to them. But I got a nice walk out of it.<br><br>
It is the right time of day to watch birds. Everyone seems to be just getting up and looking for something to eat, and talking while they do it. I can’t bird by ear, but I’ve got to start working on it. There’s several birds singing that I can’t see and I wish I knew what they were.<br><br>
I ran across the elementary school property to chase the hawks, and went around the back side of the retention pond. I didn’t realize the retention pond was nearly dry. No wonder I didn’t hear very may frogs this summer and fall. Normally, I only walk around the front of the pond, which is blocked by vegetation, so I hadn’t noticed it was dry. I saw a great blue heron flying by earlier this morning, and thought he’d come from the pond. Perhaps he had been checking it out, but kept going when he found that it was dry.<br><br>
The lone bird on the high-tension wires that I’d been watching from my dining room turned out to be an American kestrel. While I watched he plummeted down and picked up some prey. At first, he started to fly away, but then turned around and landed on top of one of the electric poles to eat it. He was too high for me to see what he caught. He is the first kestrel I’ve seen here, but he’s hunting in the same place the swallow-tail kites liked last summer.<br><br>
I heard a couple woodpeckers this morning, but they were being shy and kept skittering around the opposite side of the tree from me, so I didn’t get a good look at them. They were small and could have been either downeys or red-bellieds since I see both around here regularly.<br><br>
I finally identified the LBBs (little brown birds) which have been foraging in the back yard every morning for the last month or so. They are palm warblers! I have only seen palm warblers on trees, not foraging on the ground. On the ground, they don’t do the characteristic tail flicking that makes them so easy to identify. I’m glad I brought the binoculars in from the car yesterday.<br><br>
Three hours traipsing around in the State Park yesterday afternoon didn’t get me this many birds. We were there as it was getting dusk, but still didn’t see much. In some ways, the habitat in my backyard is more varied than the section of the park where we were hiking. Out there was a pretty open pine forest with sabal palms covering the ground below. Here, we have the pines on the school property (which are always hosting woodpeckers, but where I have also seen a bald eagle, palm warblers, red-shouldered hawks, and I believe that is where the owl is living), an oak tree in the front (where the blue jays have nested the last two years), the crepe myrtles (whose berries the birds and squirrels love), the tangerine tree (where the cardinals have nested the last two years), the retention pond with a plethora of wading birds when there is actually water in there, and the high tension wires with a forty-foot wide swath of grass under them where the kestrel and the swallow-tailed kites (and I imagine many other birds) hunt.<br><br>
Yesterday, I went looking for birds and only saw three. Today, all I had to do was sit in my dining room and look out the sliding glass doors and I saw a dozen or so different species. My life seems to run like this too – when I try the hardest to get something I want, I make no progress at all. But when I stop striving, stop thinking about the problem, I frequently find that what I was looking for is right in front of my face – I just need to be still long enough to actually see it.<br><br>
I’m going to see if I can get DH to build the squirrel a nesting box, with a PVC pipe around the support pole for her to gnaw. With the hawks, owl, kestrel, etc. around, no wonder she is looking for a safe attic for her babies to grow.
 

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i love nature, if you want to email me, on here, I will know you are around, as this is a small group so far, but we do a lot of hiking. me and my 7 and 8 yr old. i find the state parks and we do nice things.
 

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Wanted to say hello. Your intro very much spoke to me! Although I've never concidered taking up canoeing I have been trying to find more ways to incorporate nature into my life as well as my daughter's life. It is difficult with the demands of life at times but, like you, I found it in my own back yard.<br><br>
I grew up outside of town on a small but comfortable 3 acre piece of land. I was very used to hearing the coyotes every night, having complete silence from cars and people after 10pm, and having no light at night aside from that of the moon and stars. We had pine trees in our yard and fields on 2 sides. I spent weekends at my dad's. He lived at a lake in a wooded area. My brother and I spent our childhood exploring nature, riding bikes, crawling around in fields and playing in the dirt.<br><br>
I guess I took it all for granted as I noticed myself wanting to live in town. I wanted to be near people and have a "community". My husband and I bought a house on a city lot in a quiet neighborhood. Although it is quiet by town standards it was a lot for me to get used to. Never dark at night, you can always hear someone talking when you go outside, you can hear people outside even when you are inside with the windows closed, sirens at odd hours, cars driving by frequently, no privacy from your neighbors, lots of noise, less wild animals, less space to roam alone, etc, etc.<br><br>
I had to learn to lok for nature and appreciate it every time. I do little things like opening all curtains firts thing in the morning, putting up bird feeders by the windows, planting flowers and veggies (when seasons permit), building outdoor sitting areas, keeping the yard up (so I want to be outside), and taking pride in the appearence of my yard. I also love photography and make sure to take time each month to explore my neighborhood, my yard, or even take a drive in an unfamiliar direction to find new things in nature to photograph. I stop my car to look at the sky and examine the clouds. I love the colors I see everywhere in nature and do little crafty projects to recreate them and bring them into my home. I have 17 house plants currently, including a large ficus tree (that I use as a Christmas tree). During the cold, dark, snowy months I try my best to bring nature indoors. I paint my house according to the colors in nature i like.<br><br>
I'm very much ruled by the sun and sky quality. Every morning, as part of my routine, I open the door in my kitchen to check the weather conditions and take a look at the sky. I love the clouds and shades of color above. Sometimes I stare for quite awhile.<br><br>
Also, my husband and I love to ride bikes around our neighborhood. He likes to see the people and I like to feel the sun. Our daughter rides in a little trailer behind my bike and often requests, "ride bikes? ride bikes!?" Something for you to think about in the near future maybe!<br><br>
Anyway, don't mean to ramble. I just think we might be on the same page as far as nature appreciation goes. I should do more and be in nature more but, realizing it is the first step right? Can't wait for some time on the lake this summer, rolling around in the grass, exploring on hikes with my daughter, and planting some bushes and flowers, and maybe a little garden outside my house. Thank you for reminding me!
 

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Subbing! Thank you for this thread. It is something DH and I have been discussing for some time now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
Back later when I feel more articulate to express my thoughts...
 
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