This week, I had the privilege of being a guest on The Morning Blend, a Milwaukee-area morning talk show.
I was there to talk about the Horicon Marsh, a 32,000 acre Wetland of International Importance that has been compared to the Florida Everglades. The Horicon Marsh, though, receives much less press and is much closer to my home -- just five minutes away, in fact.
For most of my life, the Marsh has been just five minutes away. And so, for most of my life, I took the Marsh completely for granted. Car loads of tourists arrive each fall to view the migration of the Canada geese, but I was unimpressed. Most of the cars had Illinois plates. Didn't the geese fly over Illinois on their journey south? Why couldn't those tourists just stay home and look up?
Beside, what's so special about geese? They're big, they fly in a V and they make a lot of noise. What more do you need to know?
Then I grew up and moved away. I had children. And slowly, I began to understand the attraction of the Marsh. Like most children, I took the wonder in my backyard completely for granted. As an adult, though, I'm beginning to understand how unique the Marsh is. People come to see geese congregate by the thousands, just as people flock to Mexico to see overwintering monarchs.
They -- the geese, the monarchs and the people -- come to these places because they're special, unique. The animals come because the land gives them what they need, and the people come to see a natural spectacle that exists at exactly one place in the world.
My boys taught me that. Through their love of nature, they introduced me to the outdoors. They taught me about the monarchs, which helped me understand the geese (and the tourists). Understanding the geese (and tourists) inspired me to write an article about the Marsh, which led to an appearance on a TV show. And that appearance may lead to a second one -- to talk about this blog.
All because of my boys.