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  • Writer's pictureBryce Joyce

Out with my Daughter

The Alarm rings…it’s 5am and the sun is already shining through the blinds. Time to get up and get out into nature as the birds and animals are waking up themselves. Armed with a cup of coffee, my camera equipment and some snacks. This day is extra special though, today I am not going alone, today my 9 year old daughter wants to come and see what heading out this early in the morning is all about.

We get her all geared up with hiking boots, a windbreaker jacket, sun hat, extra water, snacks and of course her own camera and binoculars. She will be joining me on a walk through a local bird sanctuary to see what we can spot and try to take some pictures. Over the course of the trip I get a barrage of questions, each more hard hitting than the last…

”How long will it take to get there, Dad?”

“How long is the walk we are going to do?”

“What do you think we will see… are there any bears?”

“What’s your favourite bird?”

After a 25 minute drive, having fielded as many questions as I could, we arrive and the excitement is palpable. Jumping out of the truck and heading to the trailhead we talk about trail etiquette and how being respectful of the environment is a big part of enjoying a place like this. Leaving it better than it was when you got there would be the ideal approach to being in nature. As well it is important to know that wild animals are just that… wild. So it’s important to a cautious and respectful, but above all else it’s important to keep a safe distance from any animal that has the potential to be dangerous. Now where we are going there isn’t any bears or wolves, but you could easily run into a moose, and that is something you don’t want to do.

We head out on the trail and she is able to take in all the sights and sounds of nature. Birds; such as Chickadees are chirping, a variety of Ducks are splashing around in the marsh, and the high pitched call of the Red-winged Black Bird echos all around us. We managed to feed a chickadee, to visit with a curious squirrel and even stop to read some of the information boards along the way.

As far as the morning went from the stand point of a photography trip, I would rank it as r

ather uneventful. But it ended up being so much more, it ended up being a father and daughter hike in a scenic little bird sanctuary we had all to ourselves, that helped to fost

er an appreciation of the natural world around a child. A child’s wonder is slow and curious, taking in all the plants, birds and animals. Getting out into nature and taking in the sighs sounds and smells at a young age will help to

build a future community of wildlife enthusiasts to help ensure that in the ever changing landscapes of urban sprawl and development and deforestation we maintain the protected areas to ensure that there is always a place for that remains wild.

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Valerie Smith
Valerie Smith
Jun 16, 2023

I am in total agreement with you regarding your beliefs and attitudes where wildlife and nature are concerned. Your art will surely help others to appreciate and respect nature as a whole.

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