Scientists and Infants

Waubonsie in the morning

Morning at Waubonsie, taken by Michelle Miller on an autumn saunter with New Tree School.

Every time we walk in a prairie or forest with our eyes open, we walk in the tension between questions and answers, between poetry and science. Annie Dillard says it this way:

“I am no scientist. I explore the neighborhood. An infant who has just learned to hold his head up has a frank and forthright way of gazing about him in bewilderment. He hasn’t the faintest clue where he is, and he aims to learn.” (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)

Sometimes we wander about bewildered, finding plants we can’t identify and seeing familiar things in unfamiliar light. Michelle captured that feeling in the photo above. On those days curiosity guides us and questions are more important than answers. And sometimes we want answers and invite experts and scientists to come along.

Curiosity will guide us on our next Saunter at Sawmill Hollow Wildlife Area in Harrison County, Iowa on November 29th. And we’ll learn some mycology in the field at our Lichens and Fungi workshop on December 12th, with biologists John Pearson and Katie Thompson. Click here for details.