There have been many times that I’ve faced landscapes which felt utterly surreal even before my own eyes, but my first trip to Mount St. Helens might be the most surreal landscape thus far.
As photographed as this location is, I fear that not a single picture can accurately describe the feeling of its imposing presence as you stand before it. Not only the mountain, but the severely scarred landscape around it just tells a gripping story of regrowth that you can literally witness with the passage of time. It’s this sense of awe and fascination with the natural world which I seek and try to provide to others. It’s what I hope to provide to those who may be reading this who may not already have this appreciation.
That being said, I’ve taken up two projects that I’m looking forward to. The first, and quickly approaching, is to teach a group of about thirty 6 – 12 year olds the value of forest ethics. Not only will I be teaching them in basic Leave No Trace (LNT) fundamentals, but also the proper method to put out fire. And considering the age range, there will be fun and games to go along with instruction! I’m hoping it’s not only fulfilling for me, but at least one of them learns something they won’t forget.
The second project should be happening in October at the Vancouver Community Library. I’ll be hosting a book reading of sorts where the goal is to inspire awe and wonder of the natural world in those in attendance. There are many things in nature which are amazing, but we generally take for granted as they seem like an everyday occurrence to us, such as a rainbow.
My hope is to enhance the scientific literacy of young people (adults too if they come) and to encourage a desire to learn about the natural world so they, too, can experience the magic of reality.
In the meantime, I’ll be trying to get outside more. If you know me and want some forest fresh air, just let me know!