Growing up in the remote region of southern West Virginia was never a challenge for me. I never complained about the lack of anything to do. Instead, the mountains surrounding home became my mentors, beckoning me to explore their ridgelines, to hike their valleys, and to unravel as many of their mysteries as I could. I still love to hike and explore this ancient landscape.
The catalyst for my interest in nature was birds. They became an obsession with me at a very early age. Mom nurtured this new found excitement by investing in field guides, binoculars, and anything else that would continue to help me develop my interest and skills in nature observation. By age ten I was already well-versed in the local birdlife, including recognizing their songs.
My interest in nature kept me out of trouble. But most importantly, the outdoors forged a desire to dedicate my life celebrating nature and sharing this passion with others.
I never lost that child-like curiosity for nature. I remain a steadfast nosy person when it comes to exploring nature. Keeping a child-like curiosity has helped me become a better nature photographer and writer.
I now have the wonderful experience of seeing nature through the eyes of my young son, Carson. Through his fascination of the natural world, my own child-like curiosity has been increased ten-fold. But it doesn’t take a child to help re-discover this passion; it just takes the inner-child in your heart to resurface.
If it’s been hidden, bring it back out. Don’t lose it. Bring it out and share it with others. Go outside get excited watching fireflies on a summer night. Explore the edge of a pond with your children. Listen to the spring peepers on a warm spring evening. Watch a flock of geese take flight. Take in the rich fragrance of autumn leaves. Be a kid again. I guarantee you will get re-energized.