For me it was never a conscious choice to love nature, it just came naturally.
From a young age I never played with dolls, instead I loved soft toys, I had a vast collection that consisted of a bear, bunny, koala, turtle, crocodile, elephant, donkey and mouse. I loved them all equally and every night I would allow one to share my dreams. Weekends were different, they all spent the night snuggling into me. Mum would find it hard to find me in the morning, among the myriad of soft toys that crowded my bed. The nurturing love from my family gave me compassion. It was little wonder that at that young age, “Kimba the white lion”, was my hero and I loved how he protected the animals and his environment.
As a young girl, I too had a bug catcher, upon one occasion I had a very special grasshopper, who I doted over, I loved watching his curious movements and feeding him. I would let him out each day to stretch his legs, but one day he seemed a little more energetic as I went to quickly try and confine him to the bug catcher I caught his leg in the seal. Sadly I had damaged a little creature that was so precious to me. I vowed never again to keep any wildlife captive.
An early excursion I did at school took us to Sherbrooke Forest, I was in awe of the sights and smells that the forest created. Towering trees, the smell of damp leaf litter on the trails, curled up ferns prongs and colourful fungi peering behind twigs and debris. It all fascinated me.
As a young teenager I was introduced to horses, which became my passion for many years. The bond that you form, getting to know an animal in an intimate way is a special feeling. Knowing their moods, imagining their thoughts, sharing their joy and feeling their pain. They become your companion, best friend and they give unconditional love.
Going on trail rides horseback through the bush, made me feel alive. Horses so in tune to their surroundings, the sights, the sounds and the smells. I listened watched and learnt, from these beautiful animals. Listening to the birds sing their tunes, seeing little forest critters dart across the track. Coming across a dead wombat along the side of the road, suffering from rigamortis. I wondered what his life was like, were he lived, what he ate how he survived and how his life had ended so abruptly. I became curious of how all creatures lived among their environments and what a wonderful world it was, to have such beautiful and diverse creatures great and small, for the world to enjoy.