>> Naturalist Notes & Musings:
Many of the animals that we love and care for here at the Nature Center were once brought here as unwanted pets. Their stories vary considerably, but they all have a common thread - they really needed a new home. Sometimes it is a simple case of: "I never thought it would live this long and my son is going off to college" or, "The kids have lost interest and my husband is stuck doing all the work". Other times a conscientious caregiver just becomes unable to continue providing for a beloved pet, and responsibly seeks out the best new home they can find. On occasions (thankfully rare), animals get dropped off with out a call or even a note. No matter what the circumstances, we do our best to find or give them a good home. Having a pet can be a huge responsibility and require lots of time and love. Obviously, a horse will require more effort and resources than a goldfish, but both will rely on you just the same. Having a pet is commitment that is easier to make when a person truly understands what it actually takes to care for whatever animal they choose. A large jungle bird that needs its own room in the house, eats $100 worth of macadamia nuts a week, and could live to be 60 years old might not be the best choice for most prospective pet owners, despite the flashy plumage.
The joys of having animal companions can be amazing but those joys don't come without hard work and daily devotion. If your kids are dying for a pet, but you just don't have room in your life for yet another responsibility, don't worry- that's just one of the reasons the Nature Center animals are here. Kids can get exposed to the many joys of animals, (but you won't have to go to the pet store every week to buy crickets!).
See you on the trails!
Marc Gussen, Naturalist
One day with a room filled with 2nd graders, I was talking about how animals don't just talk with sounds, but that many animals can communicate with their bodies.
I asked them what a dog "says" when it wags its tail?
A boy responded with "Ruff! Ruff!"
NATURALIST’S NOTES: April, 2018
Some of my favorite frequent visitors to the Nature Center aren’t people, but dogs. There are quite a few dog walkers and their four legged friends that come for a stroll daily, and some that come less often, but all greatly enjoy the time they spend here. The combination of a taste of nature, exercise and quality time spent with your best friend is too good a thing to pass up. We see everything from St. Bernards to tea-cup Yorkies, and every breed in between.
You can see the excitement in their snouts as they pull up to the CNC parking lot, and when the door opens up it’s like a kid in a candy store-- or better yet: a dog in a nature center.
I can only imagine what all the smells, sights and sounds of nature do to the mind of a house dog, but I’m sure that many of them end up on the verge of sensory overload.
We encourage everyone to get out and enjoy this little 136 acre gem...and if you have a dog, bring them too! As you might expect, we have a couple of simple rules: Please keep your dogs on a leash, clean up after them and, most importantly, enjoy your time at the candy store!
See you on the trails....
Marc Gussen, Naturalist