It has been so much fun to do interviews for The Magnifying Glass that I thought I'd expand the interviews to include a mix of young naturalists. Please join me in welcoming our first pair of young naturalists, a brother and sister team all the way from Hawaii: Emily and Michael. I happened to stumble upon their mother homeschooling blog, Fairly Square, when I was searching for information on nature journals. After reading Melani's post about their long and on-going dedication to nature journaling, I was eager to learn more about their interests in the natural world and I was not disappointed. In fact, I am inspired and encouraged by their example. At a time when so many of the reports on teens and tweens focus on the negative or challenging aspects of modern adolescence, it is even more meaningful to me to hear directly from such thoughtful, bright, and passionate young naturalists. I hope you will feel the same way, too.
E: My name is Emily. I'm twelve years old, and I live in Honolulu, Hawaii. I dance ballet, I play piano, and I like to beat myself at Monopoly.
M: My name is Michael. I am fifteen and enjoy jazz music, literature, and theater. I live in Honolulu, Hawaii.
How old were you when you started keeping a nature
E:I don't really remember not having a nature journal. When we were living in Alaska, mom took us on hiking trails to draw flowers.
M: Keep a camera with you. If you have to stop drawing for some reason, you can look back at the pictures you took of your specimen so you don't have to draw from memory.
Please tell us about your favorite nature spot.
E: My favorite nature spot is Swan Lake in Sumter, South Carolina. There's a trail around a lake filled with ducks, swans, geese, herons, and turtles. The black swans chased me and tried to bite my toes!
M: My favorite nature spot is my grandparents' beef farm in Ohio. There are approximately 170 acres of pasture, meadows, and forest. Wild turkeys and deer roam freely. Every ten years or so beavers move onto the property and create a swamp; when they leave the swamp dries up again.
What are a few of your favorite nature books?
E: My favorite nature book is Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance by Stephen Herrero. I also like The Complete Amateur Naturalist by Michael Chinery.
If you could travel any place on earth to observe/document a natural occurrence or specific animals, where would you go and what would you hope to see?
E: I would like to go back to Alaska to study polar bears.
Emily and Michael, thank you so much for joining us here on The Magnifying Glass. It is obvious that your appreciation of the natural world has deep and early roots that are continuing to thrive. I love that nature journaling has been such a core part of your lives that you can't remember a time without it. And I love your list of reading suggestions. I have already added several of them to my reading list. When your dreams come true and you get to study polar bears and cuttlefish in the wild (because I have a feeling you could both turn those dreams into reality), please let us know because I would love to do a follow-up!