When I was growing up in Juno Beach, Florida, I developed a keen interest in nature. Part of this came from working with the legendary Eleanor Fletcher, the Turtle Lady of Juno Beach. Her mission was to save the sea turtles that nested along the beach in town and it was an honor to have worked with her.
One day I decided to explore the woods near my home. I brought along my notebook and kept a journal of my observations, complete with illustrations. I post Part 1 of my notes here exactly as I wrote them when I was 15 years old. I wrote in my journal books often at that age, and I now see how that helped me develop the writing style I possess today.
On February 20, 1984, I decided to explore the wilderness by myself. It was a cloudy day when I took my hike. I started from a group of miniature palm trees called palmettos. I rested there for a while, then set off on my hike. The minute I pulled some bushes from y way, I noticed some strange plants, which looked like a clump of grass with flowers, so does my sketch describes:
After observing these strange plants, I set off once again. Nothing was encountered for a while, but I remembered it rained a while ago and it washed off all my last tracks. When I returned to the same area, I noticed animal tracks, signs of animal activity:
I proceeded onward, and I reached a forest of tomorrow. If these trees are able to stay out of man’s reach, these trees will dominate the wilderness. I stayed there, observing the trees:
Pleased with my studies, I returned “back to civilization”. On my way back, I noticed a strange plant:
From my studies, I learned that the wilderness is a fascinating place and I think it deserves attention in the future. It is the source of food for all life on Earth. When I returned to this place, I went further in.