Sunday, 26 February 2012

Nature Girl

Natural Beauty
This is a tribute blog about the girl I live with.  She is a real pleasure to share my home with. A most sustainable way for living!  No screaming matches.  No major drama to deal with.   Not to say she's an angel!  She sure has her moments, but they are very mild ones (thankfully).  She is 16 years old and at the end of April, she will celebrate 17 years on this planet.  She was born a vegetarian and has compassion beyond her age.  I have just read an interview with Emily Deschanel (star of TV series Bones).  She says; "Going vegetarian or vegan is certainly a way to lessen your footprint on the Earth.  I think it's something people should be considering given the emergency situation we're in regarding water supplies, global warming, and the destruction of ecosystems.  There's a lot of overlap between animal rights and the environment."  Certainly true of my daughter.   Ever since she was a tot, she was drawn to everything in nature.  I remember always berating her for having the dirtiest little fingernails that any young girl should have, but then she was always scratching around in the dirt, looking for and looking at bugs, their behaviour and habitats.  

Shanti Shakti Shiva, our cat, is a constant source of delight and
object of much teasing 
I remember at 2 years, we brought her older brother's kindergarten mouse home for a weekend to care for.  She spent ages watching it and then turned to me and quizzically inquired: "Mousie's in jail?"  I was afraid she would attempt to free it and kept a very close eye on that mouse over those two days.

When she was 4, she found a sick hedgehog in the garden and wouldn't leave it's side.  She made it a little home out of sticks and leaves and it was dark before I could coax her inside.  She picked up spiders without the least sign of any fear.  We always joked that she would become an entomologist one day (a bug scientist).  She loved outings to the Auckland Museum where she would spent hours looking at all the animals and bugs in the pull out drawer displays.

Any wildlife rescues are left to Shayni to undertake

I wondered when her enthusiasm for nature would wane.  It still hasn't.  A baby bird fallen from it's nest would be cradled and returned to it's nest after hours of searching for an obvious place of belonging.  Once, she scaled a ladder to replace an eager little fledgling bird high up in our oak tree.  After successfully replacing it in a located nest above where she had found it, it flung itself back out, kamikaze style, to land back apon the ground.  The ladder was again heaved and dragged from the shed and the little bundle of feathers were returned to it's nest.  This scenario was repeated several times with increasing frustration on her behalf!  Finally nightfall left her with not options but to come to roost in her own little nest.  We never saw the little bird the next day.  Hopefully it did not become a neighbouring cat's tasty morsel but lived to learn to fly rather than free-fall.

"Open your eyes, it's feeding time!"

Getting cosy with the chooks
Ring-necked visitor is caught and succumbs to a cuddle

Spence has grown to like her little cuddle time!
There are so many of these stories I could write a book!  Anyway, this girl is still enamored by all living creatures, abhors cruelty of any form and spends much time in the garden, watching ladybugs, feeding spiders flies, catching white butterflies and tying the loosest of cotton thread knots around them and letting them fly like kites till they fly right out of their "harness", feeding our chickens shield bugs by holding them up to a shield bug infested sunflower and delighting in their eager pecking frenzy!

Lethal insectivorous  missile machine in action
Pause for celebration:  As I began to write this, my daughter had a job interview on Thursday.  At first it didn't seem to be a possibility as the boss said she was looking for someone older than 16.  She said she had others to interview and would ring on Monday night.  They rang her the next night, on Friday to say she would be trialed on Saturday!  At the end of the evening, they announced that she had the job!  So, hence begins my daughter's first real job, 5 nights a week, waitressing!  Does mean that her parents become the proverbial taxi drivers, the things we do for love!  
Congratulations, Shayni.

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