Monday, July 23, 2007

This morning The Monkey and I went out exploring. I had intended to take him peach and raspberry picking, but alas, they were closed after a busy weekend. So...we ended driving out to Solano Lake (about 1/2 hour drive west of us) and stopped at the picnic/campground area. We walked along and threw stones at the little lake, climbed trees, and looked at and chased peacocks. Yeah, peacocks. They were wondering all over and were beautiful. After a while we headed back to Davis and stopped by the peach and raspberry stand (which was open but not for picking). The owner was just getting ready to feed the the chickens, goats, sheep and the pony (named Candy) and she asked The Monkey for some help. He obliged and did a great job. We were told that roosters will cock-a-doodle-do to let the hens and chicks know there is food, as well as, eat only when they know everyone else is finished. She also told us that there is this one hen that lays an egg everyday. After she lays the egg, she calls out to the rooster and keeps doing so until he finally comes to her and the egg, then and only then will she stop calling. Pretty funny. We then picked out our peaches and raspberries and talked about how beautiful the morning was, how great it was to be outside and how important it is for kids to be enjoying the outdoors. The owner and another customer were talking about The Dangerous Book for Boys, a book for playing in the outdoors. The book talks about the essential outdoor gear boys need, a Swiss army knife, a compass, a magnifying glass, etc. and how to make anything from a paper airplane to a fort. Pretty cool. Then I had mentioned that I've been reading (slowly) Last Child in the Woods. Which discusses children's (and adults) Nature Deficit Disorder, the criminalization of play and how we can get our children back outside free playing and using their imaginations, so they can become more in touch with nature and themselves. The ladies were interested in the book and I had felt my morning come full circle. Where we live is truly beautiful, with farm country just outside of town, a big open sky and trees everywhere. I don't want to get preachy on my soap box but I'm feeling like more and more needs to be done about kids and the environment. They are told everyday to be environmentally friendly, "be green", recycle... but how will they ever know how to save something that they feel so disconnected to because they are indoors watching T.V., playing video games, chatting on myspace, blogging, talking on their cell phones or plugged into their ipods, to name just a few activities. It can all get too overwhelming, so all Tom and I can do is raise our boys to appreciate nature and make it a part of our daily lives and hopefully they will continue doing so.

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