Everyday we take our 14-month-old daughter to the park. When she is outside of our house, she instinctively walks towards the park. She loves the park. The birds chirping, the dogs strolling by with their owners, the vast open space where bubbles can float with little impediments.

My daughter loves to collect leaves on her trips to the park. She finds them and places them in the bottom storage area of her stroller. Her favorite ones she holds in her hands. She clutches onto them and they give in a little but they do not crumble, for she only picks the newly dropped leaves.

Leaves are one of the many works of art by Mother Nature. They are vast in types and even when they are similar in appearance they have multitude of differences when looked upon more closely.

We took an opportunity to expose our daughter to more of nature’s goodness at the second annual Discover Otay Valley Regional Park Day. We witness a demonstration of Kumeyaay Dancing. After his solo, the dancer invited the kids to join in on a bunny hop dance. The kids made a mambo line-like dance pattern and held up bunny ears as they hopped to the drumming.

One of the sponsors, WiLDCOAST, had a beanbag game for kids to toss into pictures of local plants and wildlife. My daughter was more interested in the beanbags and less interested in the tossing part.

We then walked to a section provided by the Bureau of Land Management, where they had reptiles to pet. My daughter fearlessly touched a gopher snake named Malfoy. He was scaly and his muscles bulged as he moved around the park ranger’s arm. “They smell with their tongue,” the park ranger explained and my daughter willingly let the snake smell and touch her hands.

I LOVE A CLEAN SAN DIEGO had a booth educating visitors about trash and waste disposal. They had a game similar to “Operation” where I dug out small toy items representing various trash and waste such as motor oil, soda bottles and paint. As I successfully pulled them out with my tweezers the representative would give me an overview on the environmental impact of each item and why it was important to dispose of correctly.

We walked the trail behind the event and we were enveloped by the shade of the trees and cooled from the hot summer day. On the floor my daughter saw different types of leaves scattered across the earth’s canvas. These leaves are not like the ones at our park. She picked a leaf up and she clutched it tight. She nodded in approval and we moved on contently.

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Ruth Newell June 5, 2012 @ 10:17 a.m.

DrgonZo--you're back! Loved: "the vast open space where bubbles can float with little impediments"! You've got a well written story right here--a winner. I very much enjoyed reading it. Thanks for posting.


nan shartel June 5, 2012 @ 11:20 a.m.

hey so nice to see u drop in again...such careful focus both u and ur daughter have..like it

here's a leaf 4 ur daughter



drgonzo619 June 6, 2012 @ 11:09 a.m.

Thanks for the kind words. As we both enjoyed the trail covered with leaves, I felt really inspired to share this story .


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