Today I had the opportunity to hike the trails at Warner Nature Center for the last time.  The trails were open on certain days for volunteers before the Center closes at the end of this year.  I usually had a trail of happy kids following me. Their excited and joyful voices usually overwhelmed the quiet beauty of nature.  Today was MY connection with the natural world.

A sunny cold morning heightened all my senses.  I sat on a log overlooking Mays Lake. The sun gave me the warmth I needed to lift my spirits.   The stillness was unnerving for awhile…where are the birds?  There was no wind to shake the remaining leaves from the trees.  The quiet helped me become one with the natural world.   

Hiking along my favorite trails, I saw animal tracks everywhere in the fresh cover of snow. So proud that I could now identify them!   I had to hug several trees, knowing they sensed my awe of wonder and sadness at the same time.

I will miss this special place.  Connecting children with nature for over 10 years has been a great joy that I will forever cherish.  This opportunity has enriched my life.  The professional staff have played a great part in making my experience at Warner very endearing.  Thank you Warner Nature Center!

Ruth Willius

Marine on St. Croix

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