Naturally Exploring

English: A variety of corals form an outcrop o...

A variety of corals form an outcrop on the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns, Queensland, Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s Daily Prompt: “Describe your first memorable experience exploring and spending time in nature. Were you in awe? Or were you not impressed? Would you rather spend time in the forest or the city?”

The problem I have with questions about “first experience” or “earliest memory of” is that I have no idea about the chronology of my earliest memories. Is the memory of being on the beach earlier or later than the memory of the picnic by the river or the lantana and creek behind the houses across the road?

I spent a lot of time outside when I was a small boy. I grew up in a suburb of Newcastle that was under development and had bushland behind the houses across the road, not to mention a chicken farm at the end of the road, though it closed when I was still small. So I spent a great deal of time exploring the bush. I also spent a lot of time climbing an oak tree on a vacant block near my house.

The family went to the beach a lot, indeed we went to Surfer’s Paradise for two weeks every year. We also visited the local beaches of Newcastle frequently in summer. I remember feeding hot chips to seagulls, running in and out of the waves, watching my footprints in the wet sand get washed away by subsequent waves. I also remember building sandcastles with a plastic bucket and spade, collecting shells and sitting on the sand next to my parents while I read ‘Treasure’ magazine. I remember running at flocks of seagulls to scare them into the air.

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