The Nature Notes, Part 6.

A HELPING HAND

In Chapter 4, I described the tough conditions created by the growing in of the field. Today, December 31, 1984, me and Ian White returned with pruning shears and cleaned unwanted branches out of our way. I pruned most of the trail myself. We didn’t go far that day. And now, my trail is happy that one person in 6 billion cares. (The flower pots were thrown in the bushes.)

The Nature Notes, Part 5.

CAMPING

NOTE: This chapter is like a journal of happenings rather than a journal of observations of nature.

Waking up at 5:30 a.m. I scurried about, gathering things together. Today is December 8, 1984 and I am going camping at Fisheating Creek with my family.

On this chilly morning, we left the house at ten minutes to 8. We stopped at a drawbridge, which was going down. The bridge bell rang for some time and I thought it was my alarm clock. I dug madly in my bag only to find the alarm clock off the whole time.

Canoeing was very worthwhile there. I went with my dad and little Donald Howell. We went up to a very big obstacle. Leaves (plants, that is) were floating on the surface. It was very hard to go through. We gave up on it and retreated back to camp.

I took Max for a walk around the camp. Upon seeing three bridges connected to three islands, I took Max to the farthest one out, and left him there. In other words:

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I took Max out to Island A (the farthest one out). I called him and laughed as he ran over all three bridges to me.

My dad and me and Donald returned on the canoe out to the obstacle and we overcame it. We fished for a while, had no luck, and returned.

After a hot dinner, I went to bed early. I awoke the next morning to a ch-chilly start. I put on 4 pairs of socks and built a fire. I remembered going to the woods to retrieve a piece of firewood. I brought it back to camp and tried to split it on a rock only to succeed in splitting the rock.

I went horseback riding later on the second of the best two horses in the camp. Lady was my horse, and Hank was Lisa’s.

As Lady remained tied to the post, I hoped a farm hand would untie her. Everyone left already, so I had to untie her myself. How did she catch up to the group? She GALLOPED! I had some witnesses, and one took a picture of me taking off with the dust. The same thing happened back!

After a delicious lunch, I canoed myself to a bank some distance from the camp, and I got on it to greet my family and friends long-distance. I then set back to camp. I later went canoeing with my dad and Max. My impressed dad glanced at the afternoon scenery and said, “The perfect day! Temperature’s just right.”

We passed by a dead tree full of vultures – a vulture club!

We went up to a stream and went up against its current. After some coaching from Dad, we got up as far as we could go, and enjoyed a free ride downstream. Max was enjoying himself for the the first time on the trip.

We came home around 3 p.m. on December 9, 1984. I was pleased with a weekend never to forget.

The Nature Notes, Part 4.

A CHANGING TRAIL

Today is September 1, 1984, six months since I have visited the field. With my companion, Ian White, I set out to explore the wilderness. I chose to go to the area described in Chapter One. It was growing in, and travel was becoming difficult.

I saw two flowerpots filled with soil. It was a clue that someone was in the field. So, we proceeded to see the Forest of Tomorrow, which was growing so big we had trouble going around it. We went to the exit of the trail and turned around. When we passed by the flowerpots, I turned both of them over so that when I returned, I would see if the person went back to straighten up the little situation I created for him. From my studies I learned the wilderness is always changing. A pond can change into a forest in about a hundred years.

Despite the fact we were enjoying ourselves, we had a miserable time. Bugs, mosquitoes and vines and scratches gave out minds on it.

We returned to the starting point, which was the maze of palmettos, which have grown so big. The grass (diagrammed at the beginning of this book) with the flowers was very abundant here.

The entrance to the trail was growing in with new plants growing around it.

The next time I visit this area, I will check on the inverted flowerpots and go elsewhere to a new area. I haven’t been to these places yet, but I know it’s going to be exciting!

The Nature Notes, Part 3.

LOST!

I recall the time I was exploring with a friend, Ian White, and we got lost. We started from the place described in Chapter 1. (We were pretending we were herding sheep to Zeus.) But, we went to a further trail because we pretended we had to avoid the evil trail. Meanwhile the sun was getting ready to sink under the horizon.

Me and Ian were enjoying the beautiful scenery involved in this trail, not realizing trouble would meet us ahead.

Already I had the feeling we were in the Trouble Zone. The trail seemed endless, just like the Yellow Brick Road. The sun was just touching the horizon when we found a trail. Would this trail bring us back? Eager to find out, conditions managed to get worse. It was getting darker yet. I had the feeling that we were really lost. Ian lost his temper, but, as one should, I kept my cool. It just seemed to me that we weren’t getting anywhere. Then, Ian sang a gospel tune that he knew well. Suddenly, we saw our footprints! Now we would be home in time for dinner! As for myself, I would be home in time for dinner and for a Boy Scout meeting! Although we had a long way to go, we were greatly pleased.

The Nature Notes, Part 2.

NEW TRAIL

13 days later I decided to return to this place to continue my studies there. I no longer have doubts of the small squirmy tracks in the diagram of the tracks, thanks to Mrs. Eleanor Fletcher, an expert on turtles.

As me and Mrs. Fletcher walked down a dirt road, I noticed the same type of tracks. I told her about my discovery in the field, when I saw the squirmy lines, and my guess. She corrected me by saying such tracks were made by ants.

Today, March 4, 1984, I walked to a different place in the field. There I saw a bunch of fallen down trees. Only a year ago, they were standing. One could hide in there, but hiding in there now is impossible. I went to explore an unknown trail, which led to someone’s backyward, but I backed out to another one. After going down the trail a little bit, I saw an astounding sight. Pieces of colored broken glass was beautiful as it lay on the ground, but unnecessary. Later, I saw a giant figure 8 of dirt and plants. The circles were formed by three wheelers, but none were in sight. In the rear was a marsh with tea colored water and sawgrass.

Suddenly, I began to worry. I had never went on this trail and it was getting dark. I had the feeling that I was lost. When I turned around, I saw cars zipping down the highway. Now I knew where I was! I went down a wide trail to a small, grown-in one back to the cut-down trees. I returned home to rest ready to go back some day.

The Nature Notes, Part 1.

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.

SOLO HIKE

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:

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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:

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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:

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Pleased with my studies, I returned “back to civilization”. On my way back, I noticed a strange plant:

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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.