110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Lynn Bowen
posted Jul 28, 2013 - 2:30:35pm
The energetic 5-year-old was very excited about seeing some local wildlife. I was assisting with a group of 20 youngsters who were going on a hike as part of a day camp in July at Lyonia Preserve in Deltona.
The 5-year-old was absolutely prepared for his one-hour walk! He wore a camouflage T-shirt and slacks and closed-toed hiking shoes. Most birds and other animals don't like brightly colored or white clothes, and he seemed to be aware of this. Forest hues of tan, brown and green are less threatening to creatures.
The young fellow had been sprayed with bug repellent and sunscreen to protect his fair skin. With a big smile and a wide-brimmed straw hat on his brown hair, he walked with us on the nearly white sandy path.
On his tan nylon vest with clips, he had a water bottle, compass and magnifying glass. A paper towel to use as a tissue hung out of his pocket. Binoculars hung around his neck so he could see any bird or animal closely. He really did use the binoculars twice to see a bird. On his wrist was a bracelet with a golf-ball-sized net on it to put an insect into.
A beautiful Florida scrub jay perched on a fence to look at us as we looked at him. We also saw a saucer-sized gopher tortoise, lots of ants, paw prints of a bobcat, and many native Floridian plants and bushes. The youngster put a cricket in his wrist pouch and studied a prickly pear cactus growing on the path.
One of the other children found a large beetle, and the 5-year-old wanted to know if beetles are ever albino! Even his questions were excellent.
Last, but not least, an enthusiastic desire to learn about wildlife added to the fun and was contagious!
This young lad really did know a lot about nature already, which was amazing! May he be a role model for all nature-lovers!
— Bowen lives in DeLand. Send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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