Monday, March 30, 2009

Alaska has really spoiled me





Not only is Alaska just plain beautiful, there really are wild animals everywhere and outdoor adventures 10 minutes from your house.

I think I am having a desperate Atlanta housewife moment.  I know what I want to be doing with my kids, but I can’t and I feel like I have to make do with what is here.

I feel continually disappointed by Atlanta’s version of “nature.”   Thankfully, my kids don’t seem too disappointed by our local adventures.  Today we ventured out to the Chattachoochee Nature Center.  We were nearly attacked by two Canada geese who were in no way afraid of people and were trying to get our lunch.  They actually hissed and lunged at me.  The boys jumped up on the table and we had to find a new place to eat.  I felt completely confounded by the geese’s behavior.  I should have realized they would expect food from me, but I know you never feed wild animals and have taught my kids the same.  I guess my mistake was thinking they were wild.

Later we saw the beaver habitat, basically a fenced area smaller than my house.  The boys were interested, but I kept thinking about my first experience with a beaver.  I was about 5 or 6 and my family took a float plane into a lake for a fishing trip.  It was just a day trip, but this is what Alaskans do, we fly little planes in to a remote area for fishing and picnicking.  Anyway, I sat on the dock or a bank with my feet in the water (even little kids have hip waders in Alaska).  A beaver did not like it.  I guess I was in his space and he kept coming over to tell me.  He would slap his tail on the water and splash me.   I thought it was funny, but eventually decided to leave him alone.

Anyway, I guess I want more for my kids.  I want them to experience seals and otters while kayaking on the ocean, not at an aquarium, watch bald eagles while hiking up Bird Ridge, watch beavers,  rabbits, moose, caribou, and bears in the wild. not all fattened up in a sanctuary or nature center. 

I am tired of cement.  I need the mountains and the ocean in my every day life.

I know I am spoiled.  I want my kids to be too.

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