Mother's column – Discovering new things in the book of creation
Abel has already asked several times if we will go to Loofles again, a small pond in the forest area near the Dutch town of Kootwijk.
It's a bike ride of about 25 minutes, but the children are happy to do so; who knows, there might be as many tadpoles as last year! So when the weather app finally predicts a dry afternoon, it is time to hit the road.
The first tadpole is soon spotted by Reinout. And caught by Martha. And petted, by Jolijn. Abel, meanwhile, studies tracks, which he compares with the paw prints of wild animals in his survival guide. There must have been a wolf here, he concludes. Looking around, I see at least three people walking their dogs, but oh well, who knows? After all, there are plenty of wolves in the region here too.
"Hey guys, check this out!" Martha cries out suddenly. Right along the bank, a frog swims by. We marvel at the graceful movements it makes with its hind legs: this would be a perfect leg stroke in swimming class. Moments later, a large duck family emerges; we count 13 little ducklings. "We have already seen so many animals", Reinout sighs. "It looks like we're at the zoo!"
You don't necessarily have to buy expensive tickets or travel the world to marvel at creation as long as you take the time to look. That same day, for instance, one of the boys discovers a blackbird's nest in the rosebush near our garden's gate. There are three eggs in it, he tells a little later. "They still felt warm!" I react with shock, as I have read that a bird abandons its nest if it smells that people have touched it. But moments later, father blackbird is already back at his post. It must be a rather unflappable type. This is a good thing because the nest shakes its foundations every time someone slams the gate.
Personally, from now on I do take extra care when closing the gate. And every time I pass by the rose bush, I peek between the branches to see if all is well. Look, now the roses are starting to bud too. The Book of Nature is new every morning. And you can just read it in your own backyard.
About the author
Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (9), Abel (7), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (1).
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