Jun 29th, 2018

Wonders of Nature

kid learning about butterflies with backyard nature center resources

We’re excited to highlight stories and personal accounts from our Naturalist Leaders as they share lessons from out in the Field.

“Look there’s a fawn in the water just up ahead.” said my wife sitting in the bow of the canoe.  “And it can’t get up he bank.”  She was referring to one of our early morning canoe trips in the Skokie Lagoons, and sure enough, the fawn couldn’t get up the 3ft. steep vertical bank.  You couldn’t tell by the fawn’s mother that a crisis was taking place.  She seemed as calm as a weather vane in the dead of night.  And yet, my wife was pleading with me to take action.

One of the lessons I learned as a volunteer working at the Willowbrook Wildlife Rehabilitation Education Center was that even though the mother is not in sight, she will nevertheless take care of her babies … if still alive, and there she was standing on shore calm and cool as a Taylor Swift’s songs in her latest album.

One of the lessons I learned in my many years of marriage is to heed your wife’s pleadings.  So, after a few minutes of watching the fawn make unsuccessful attempts to climb the 3ft. steep vertical bank, I went into action mode.  Tied the canoe to an overhanging branch, got into the waist-deep water, picked up the fawn, placed it on top of the 3ft. steep vertical bank.  Neither the fawn nor her mother showed any signs of gratitude for my courageous deed.  But from the canoe came the clapping and repeated cheers — “You’re my hero!”

The wonder?  How many people have felt the softness of a fawn’s belly, while seeing the huge, bulging eyes of a scared baby animal, especially while standing in waist-deep water?  My senses and feelings were going off the charts.  This incident happened 15 years ago, and yet, whenever I’m within sight of one of the seven Skokie Lagoons, the memory and deep-souled feelings come to the surface, and warm my heart.

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Each month, new descriptions of the wonders of nature will be posted on this page. You are invited to share your “wonder” – a description of a unique and personal account (1-page) you’ve experienced in nature. Submit to

Daniel Kielson, Ed.D.
BYNC, President

About The Author

Daniel Kielson /

Daniel is the founder and President of BYNC, a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization that connects children and adults with the wonders of nature. Prior to BYNC, Daniel has been a volunteer at the Willowbrook Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center providing care for injured and orphaned native wildlife.

Wonders of Nature

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