Last weekend, my 13-year-old son went with me to do some work in our family prairie. It was a nice day for wildlife sightings, starting off with a prairie chicken that flushed from the grass as we drove in. We also watched thirteen-lined ground squirrels, great blue herons on the wetland, and speculated about whether or not the hawk flying around was nesting in our prairie again this year. After we left, we drove a few miles south to visit a small prairie dog town before heading back home. Within a mile or two of leaving the prairie dog town, I stopped and backed up the truck to take a closer look at a snake warming itself on the gravel road.
I’m grateful for opportunities like these to spend time with my kids and help them develop positive feelings toward nature and conservation. I sometimes have to cajole them to join me on a trip to the prairie, but we rarely return home without a few memorable encounters and experiences that make them glad they came along.