daniel kielson board member portrait Having written the logo phrase, “Connecting children and adults with the wonders of nature,” in 2007, it wasn’t until year or two later, and after much discussion by the Board members, that we really began to understand its meaning. Everyone has their own personal meaning to the word, “wonders”. And especially as it relates to “nature,” from beauty to an opportunity for a good workout cutting a buckthorn tree, and everything in between.

At first blush, a beautiful sunset comes to mind with its myriad shades of oranges and reds; or a cascading waterfall serving as a backdrop to a romantic couple’s forever-to-be-kept photograph; or a fresh 12-inch snowfall attaching itself to the slanting spruce an pine needles on a regal mountain? That’s what we see in movies and TV. (Even the producer of PBS’s “Poldark” claims that its crashing waves on the shores of England’s rugged coastline, is an integral part of the series.)

We see a sense of exhilaration and accomplishment on the faces of the New Trier High School sophomores during their service days…

Our observations are less dramatic, and yet, they are much more significant! We see a sense of exhilaration and accomplishment on the faces of the New Trier High School sophomores during one of their service days when the 25-ft. buckthorn tree comes crashing to the forest’s floor accompanied with a resounding, “Timber!”; or when an 8th-grader’s eyes light up when she discovers that the water she had been testing just an hour earlier that morning is 620 feet above sea level and that it would end up in the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of 1500 miles away, “Awesome” she remarked; or a puzzled 7th grader tries to problem-solve: given that an inch of rainfall is equivalent to a foot of water in Lagoon 3 (Skokie Lagoons), how much rain would it take reach the surface of Tower Road; or when a 6-yr. old child falling off a horizontal, fallen log, brushes herself off, looks around a little embarrassed, and mutters to herself quietly, “I’m going to get this thing even if it takes all day,” and then runs to quickly try again. These are the wonders of nature to BYNC – this is what we do, and who we are.

New descriptions of the wonders of nature will be posted regularly.  You are invited to share your “wonder” – a description of a unique and personal happening you’ve experienced in nature, submit to bync@backyardnaturecenter.org

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Daniel Kielson, Ed.D.
BYNC, President

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