A little over four years ago I met my true partner, John. Someone who made me a better environmental educator and person. Someone who convinced me to move out to his seven acre property in the middle of nowhere and love the land. He taught me how to truly reuse/reduce/recycle everything and how to let nature be in charge, not humans.
Everyday, we are fortunate enough to walk our animals on five of the acres that we have let go to old field. Sure, we could have spearheaded efforts to create a restored prairie, but we don't have the time or resources to do that and at some point, I realized that nature regenerates and maintains itself just fine without our help. We may have plants that are less than desirable for the purest, but the land feeds, waters, and shelters many of Earth's creatures. I recently started keeping phenological records of the animals and plants I see when I walk the trails. I get excited when I see the Eastern Towhees, Indigo Buntings, Woodcocks, Eastern Bluebirds, Least Weasel, Tiger Swallowtails, Red-spotted Purples, House Wrens, and so many more every year at their appointed times. It’s as if we are old friends. Occasionally, a small white-tailed deer herd flushes out of the tall grasses and into the nearby wooded area.
John bought and created this haven as a way to get away from the stresses of work and life and he asked me to share the experience with him. He is patient with everyone he meets and has the kindest heart especially with animals. We have created a small non-human family consisting of a dog, two cats, two snakes (that will soon go back to my son), and twelve fish. He is someone my human children and mother adore because he is a good friend to them and he takes good care of me. He is someone I could have easily missed had I not asked for more information about his research on penguins. If we would have met before we did, we may not have connected because we were different people in different places in life. Life and love happen at the time and place they should.
So, although I have never been much into Valentine’s Day, I would like to take this opportunity to appreciate John for all he is to me, my environmental hero and life partner.
Hello, My name is Kirsten Hope Walker. I have been an environmental educator for over 20 years. My passion is talking to the public about how to coexist with wildlife. It's my hope that you will ask questions and find my features and blogs interesting. Thanks for your support.