Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ok, So I've Got a Ways to Go

We are all enjoying our new studies with the Kamana program. The first few lessons have been about encouraging Awareness, which I am in great need of. I am not the most observant person, to put it mildly.

Once I walked up onto my mother's front porch and entered her house. She asked, "Do you like my new porch furniture?" Er, new porch furniture? There was furniture out there? Sure enough, beautiful WHITE wicker porch furniture with pretty floral cushions. How could I miss those? This really slapped me in the face. I'm too quick and intent on what I'm doing or thinking to notice much. Not good. Especially when it comes to wanting to know more about nature, not to mention people.

Another little example. Yesterday we were up at the lake. Instead of being my usual lazy self and staying on the beach with my World magazine or a book catalog, I got up and slowly starting walking down the beach looking for THINGS. I was so proud of myself because I found a string of amphibian eggs and some small mammal tracks up near the water. I noticed the black skippers flying around. Fun. The boys and Annalise had joined me. Luke pointed out a HUGE toad nestled in a little spot right on the water's edge. How had I missed that? Well, it did look a lot like a leaf if you didn't look directly at it. We stopped and looked at a little area where Luke thought might have fish and they saw one. I saw a very large one beyond where they were looking and when I pointed it out they were amazed at it's size. I was amazed that I had been the one to see it.

So, I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself noticing different plants around the lake. I had spent the drive up noticing the wildflowers that we already knew the names of and even stopped to look closely at one I had never seen before. I looked it up in the Reader's Digest Field Guide that I had brought with me and found it was a dwarf blue flag - so cute! We continued our walk around the lake, realizing this walk may not have been the smartest thing since no one was around and this was very near the location of a bear attack last year when a girl just Annalise's age was killed. We started making contingency plans just in case. We made it back close to the beach when I saw a beautiful bank of violets. I sat down to examine them closer with my field guide. I swept one large red ant off of my leg and in the back of my mind, I wondered if maybe I was near an anthill. Then Annalise tells me there is a bug on my back, another ant. I figure I better stand up and look around. There I was sitting smack dab on top of an anthill while I was trying to the learn the difference between violet species. I did identify this Arrowleaf Violet. And at least I didn't get bit (or do they sting?) by the ants.

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