It’s wild! That pretty well sums up these past five weeks of spring around Lawton Academy. I am enjoying teaching my science classes about the wonders of spring which are so obvious on and around our campus. The Mulberry trees have produced an enormous amount of berries which students carefully observe each morning and munch on each recess!
We’ve been able to visit at least four bird nests complete with occupants: a dove who is still sitting on her eggs in our Live Oak tree; a robin’s nest in a Mulberry tree on the North side of our elementary building; a sparrow’s nest in the front of our secondary building; and best of all, a robin’s nest carefully built in the tree next to our covered sand area in such a position that the building’s overhang protects it from rain, wind and excessive sun. I’ve listened to that robin chirp and greet me every morning as I arrive at school…but I had no idea he was just bragging about how “gifted” he was to have chosen such a wonderful location for his nest!
The crowning achievement for us, however, is the birth of five new Killdeer babies which we can observe running along our driveway to the school. We have been fortunate to have these birds return year after year to give birth to their new families on our property. The students have marveled at the theatrics of the father bird in particular as he feigns a broken wing to lead onlookers away from his mate and her brood. After observing this display this week, one of my students remarked, “That really is awesome to see that parent willing to sacrifice his own life to save his children from potential harm!”
As if the bird life isn’t enough “wildness” (I didn’t even mention that we’ve had over fifty doves hatch on our property), we’ve had a plentiful supply of rabbits who do multiplication very well! At the moment, we have about four to six new babies which run around outside the fenced area all day long. Two of these new young ones come over near the children during recess and just “hang out” to the delight of the students. One of my first graders announced in a very knowing manner on Thursday, “I am sure it’s Floppsy and Peter Rabbit!”
I won’t go into detail, but we’ve also had a yearly production and visit of garter snakes. Once in a while, we get a glimpse of a coyote leaving our soccer field after a night of chasing rabbits. Last year we had the unpleasant task of having to catch eight baby skunks who, along with their mother, took up residence under our trailer workshop. We learned that molasses-coated bread is a sure way to catch them!
And a final observation of the wildness all around me…girls with red, pink, green, blue, and even rainbow-colored hair! Even the clerk at my morning stop for a diet coke was brandishing bright green hair that would make any Irishman proud on St. Patrick’s Day!
Let me close with this website. Please visit it for a few moments of wonder at this wonderful world in which we live…and the gift of such a wonderful, loving God.