When Nature Calls...
Hi there! My name is Tiffani. I’m the mother of two rambunctious, creative, inquisitive kids; the wife of a complete science nerd; a crafter with way too many artsy hobbies (you should see my craft room); a planner of “super-awesome” parties (that’s a direct quote); a photographer of all things kid or nature; and a hugger of trees (obviously).
I wasn’t always a mom and wife. I actually started out like most of the kids of my generation…playing outside, fishing, camping, and riding my bike. The more time I spent outside, the more I learned about nature. One of my earliest memories of a “real encounter” with nature involved a garter snake and some tall grass in the backyard. Needless to say, I wasn’t just surprised by the snake…I was intrigued. It’s that natural curiosity that led me down the path to become a park naturalist.
As a park naturalist, I learned...
Plant and Animal Biology
What I hadn’t learned in college, I quickly picked up as I prepared and presented nature programs for the public and school children.
I wasn’t really a skilled public speaker at first, but the more programs I presented, the better I became…and the more fun I had.
Environmental Science and Ecology
When people visit a park, they don’t just want to learn about plants or animals. They want to know how those organisms fit into the bigger picture. From recycling to global climate change to endangered species, I made sure to provide a valuable “earth lesson” with every program I presented.
Understanding and Compassion
Being an educator isn’t just about teaching. It’s also about understanding. It’s important to instill a sense of compassion (for nature in this case) in the hearts and minds of your students.
A Love of Nature
I truly love nature…in all its many forms. It is one of the few things in my life that is consistent. My favorite poem is “The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry. It’s not exactly about hugging trees, but it does offer encouragement for anyone who needs it.
“The Peace of Wild Things” brings to the surface emotions nearly every parent or teacher feels at some point in their lives. Berry talks of despair growing within and how he wakes in the middle of the night in fear of what his children will face in the future. This is how he calms himself:
"I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief."
That poem is so simple, and yet so beautiful. Whenever I feel anxious or worried, I read it again (even though I have it memorized). And then I sit down and spend some time with my children, whether it’s playing a game together, making homemade slime, or simply watching them chase bubbles around the backyard.
So that’s one of the reasons I started this website…for all those parents, educators, and tree huggers out there searching for that peace…searching for your own wild thing to cling to when you wake in the night in fear of the future.
I hope you enjoy and learn from these pages. I welcome your suggestions, thoughts, and questions. You can reach me anytime at [email protected]. Thanks for supporting my website and...
GO HUG A TREE!