Missing the Magic of Childhood


Some links from Hooked on Nature

The Children & Nature Network has created Nature Clubs for Families from an idea one family had to invite their entire community along for nature walks.

The National Wildlife Federation has many suggestions for how to give your child a Green Hour each day.

Playborhood is an on-line community for parents who want their kids to go outside and play.

Naturehoods is a beautiful website with great ideas for connecting to nature right where you live.

And keep an eye out for Where Do the Children Play? — a PBS documentary, book, and outreach project about the vital importance of open-ended creative play for the healthy development of children. Link-thanks SS.


Image: In a pasture margin near work, this translucent tangle of thistle down framed a few remaining flowers that hadn’t yet gone to airy seed. It reminded me of the spun glass we used to use at Christmas below the manger scene, a memory that still evokes a sense of mystery and magic from childhood.

I wanted to impart some of that wonder in the rendering of this shot so I wouldn’t forget. A little tweaking added more than just the light to the experience of “seeing” into this waste of weeds. Click for larger view.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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