We all have various connections with nature. And some of those connections are etched in our minds and take us back in time to a particular experience. Now with the Covid-19 on our minds, perhaps we have had more time to wax nostalgic with nature. I certainly have.
We have a few wren houses in our yard. And when I heard the first house wren singing a few weeks ago I was transported back in time to my youth and my grandma’s backyard. She had a wren house at each end of her clothesline and a couple others for good measure. I mowed her lawn, and when the lawn was done, we would often sit in those old metal lawn chairs in her backyard and have a glass of Kool-Aid, always serenaded by the house wrens. To this day when I hear a house wren I often think of those good times with my grandma.
Hearing the call of an upland sandpiper also elicits a trip back in time. For those of you unfamiliar with the call of an upland sandpiper, it is similar to that of a wolf whistle. The first time I heard it was many years ago. I was alone, as far as I knew, out in the middle of about a 7,000 acre tract of native prairie when I heard what sounded like a person whistling at a pretty girl. What is going on here I thought. It took me several minutes and considerable amount of wondering around before I found the source of that whistle. Now when I hear a wolf whistle or an upland sandpiper I am wandering around that prairie all over again.
The first time I identified or “keyed out” a trillium was shortly after completing my first plant taxonomy class in college. So a friend and I decided to see if we could identify a few spring wildflowers. A trillium was the first. There are a few trilliums in the Turtle Mountain aspen forest, so now when I see one, I think about the infancy of my interest in botany.
We all, at times wax nostalgic when we hear or see (maybe even smell) the plants and animals around us. Those connections are important to us personally and also to our connections with the natural world. We at Prairie Public would like to hear about your connections. Just go to Prairie Public’s Facebook page and post your stories. Share a little nostalgia with nature!