Dear Mother Nature,
I ventured out into your realm on one of my morning walks around campus last Sunday, and you amazed me with your startling beauty in the most unexpected places.
There is a tree standing on the lawn outside my dormitory. I often sit under its shade reading homework assignments while playing music. Sometimes, other students climb up its smooth bark in an attempt to reach the top.
Today, I identified the tree as a yellowwood. The bark is deceptive: its evenness resembles that of a birch tree, but its distinctive traits give it away: its pinnately compound leaves, and its beautiful, white flowers which hang in clusters during the spring and the early summer. It is native to the southeastern part of the United States, but is commonly integrated into gardens and lawns in the north.
I walked to the other side of campus, where there is a little enclave. The ground is covered in foliage and deciduous trees tower over. With some research, I pinpointed the above plant as the Massachusetts Fern, native to New England. It naturally occurs near swamps and wetlands, which makes sense, since there is a river right beside the area. But you probably already know that. You’re Mother Nature, after all.
As soon as I entered the area, I heard a sudden rustle in the grass, and I spotted a wild turkey about seven or eight feet away, running towards the nearby downhill slope. I managed to capture the last few seconds of its escape on camera, but its a bit hard to see in the video.
I stared in awe and total captivation as it waddled away in the distance, disturbing the high grass as it moved.
I identified most of the plants and animals I encountered on this particular walk, but there was one type of bird perched high up in the trees that I could not discern. It was too far away to see, but I caught a recording of its call below:
If you know which species this is, please write me back. I will keep researching bird calls to try to identify its sound.
Overall, I would call this excursion successful and I look forward to many more in your domain. Mother Nature, I’ll see you again soon.