My Love of Nature

I have spent most of my life in nature. When I was in third grade, my dad bought me aQuarter Horse “cow-pony” fresh off a working, Florida cattle ranch. That beautiful well trained mare, changed my life. I spent all my free time riding in the palmetto and scrub pine tree woods… alone. Sometimes, my explorations lasted an entire day. I often rode back as the sun was setting. Perhaps napping in the saddle as my faithful steed brought me safely home. These solo adventures were the birth place of my respect and love for nature, that continue to this day.


When I married David, he introduced me to tent camping on the numerous Florida rivers. There was divine intervention in our meeting. Three short months after we met, we were married. God must have been in control as our passions were and have been in continuous harmony. The first two years were “Just the Two of Us” and then Charlotte, our first daughter, was born.


The late 60’s, early 70’s began our love for canoe and kayak camping. “Roughing it Smoothly” was our motto and challenge. We were both very competitive. Not as much with each other, but as a team. It seemed the majority of outdoorsmen knew The UNWRITTEN LAW.  Leave No Trace Behind. It was respect for the land and our fellow man. Campsites were cleaned and left in better condition than they were when we arrived. It was an unspoken courtesy to leave a gift of firewood for the next weary camper.

Bless the Beasts and the Children

What brought this subject matter to mind was what my grandson Kaden said to our daughter Alicia. He just became a Wolf Scout. “I would not ever litter to save the environment!” He started to throw a wrapper on the ground; stopped and thought “No!” :0). “No trace left behind,” Alicia smiled as she told me of his conversation!

It made my heart sing to think my teaching is understood and being taught to the next generation through the Boy Scouts of America, “Leave No Trace” program.

I see the banks of the beautiful rivers we paddle; the launch sites, etc., and like the Indian in the commercial, a tear comes to my eye. Trash everywhere.

Then I am bashed with wave action from speeding boat wakes as I relax on shore. I feel a Oneness with the habitat and angered by the annoying disruption. I wonder if the loud, careless boater would feel differently if he was near the shore? Would he have been more cautious if he had been in one of the small boats that he caused to capsize? Would he be more aware of the damage his wake causes to the shoreline, aquatic plants and wading birds? Maybe, just maybe he would feel respect?


Truly, I understand that in most cases it is ignorance. Obliviousness. I ask myself how many times have I done wrong, purely out of ignorance and how ashamed I was after I learned. Proverbs 4; Understanding comes with wisdom. I continue to ask for it, so I can receive understanding and pass it on to the children.

Any ideas of small ways to educate “The Unwritten Law”?