I never really stop to see nature. It's always there. The trees, the grass, the Bay. But I pass nature by everyday without acknowledging it. After spending a week discussing the The Bay by naturalist Gilbert Klingel with the group of middle schoolers Ms. T and I were teaching I started to understand and appreciate what's around me.
The class took a field trip to the Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge on the Chester River last week to really get a feel for what Klingel was talking about in The Bay. They went around, slowly with a great attention to detail and discovered each plant and animal with a newfound sight.
And you know if I wasn't looking at everything I saw as a naturalist, I wouldn't have discovered the bay leaves growing and how they smelled like soup, or the not yet ripe wild rice that was growing underneath the overlook, or which berries were poisonous and which ones I could eat. I believe the fascination with the edible plants was due to the other reading material, The Hunger Games though.
I can't say that I'd like to stay in the "wild" all the time, but now I can walk out and identify the plants I know, learn the ones I don't, and survive off of certain roots. Mostly I can just stop and appreciate what's there instead of walking past it all.