Infectious Wonder

The other day I was taking the trash out and saw a peculiar thing on the driveway. I went over to investigate and found that ants were building the most intriguing funnels of dirt. I watch for bit then went in to get the kids.

Ant hill 1-1

They were both very deep in their own individual pursuits, but it was almost time to rouse them up to head outside anyway so I told them I had seen something super cool and could not wait to show them. They were excited and begged for me to tell them. Finally I said, “The ants in the driveway are building the coolest structures! You guys have to see!” Their response was less than enthusiastic. In fact, it kinda stalled the process of heading outside all together. “What? Ants? We have seen tons of ants! What’s the big deal?” I was not going to let my own excitement be hampered by their reaction. So I quietly got my things together and headed back outside. They followed (dragging feet) determined to pay no mind to my ants!


It would seem that my enthusiasm was a bit infectious because they eventually came over to join me as I sat on the driveway watching the ants carry sand, grain by grain, out of their nest. What started out with complacency ended with all kinds of inquiries about how they build (using their saliva as concrete?), what they would do if we supplied them with sugar (which we did and it was fascinating), and plans to build an ant farm in Minecraft!




So, my curiosity and wonder carried the day and led the way to investigation and inspiration. It was a good reminder to keep my own interest in nature alive, while giving the kids the time they need to come around to whatever it is I am so inthralled with, be it ants, cloud formations or the way raindrops are hitting the water.

Happy Exploring,


6 thoughts on “Infectious Wonder

  1. KC says:

    It’s so great to hear your voice again! :) What strange and wonderful things. Yesterday we went out for a birdwatch in our backyard and counted 18 birds flying over head. We saw, morning doves, lesser golden finches, a grackle! and some others that were too far away to see.

    • Dawn says:

      Thanks so much, KC!
      How fun to spot so many different types of birds in your backyard! Love it!
      Do you guys have a regional bird guide?

  2. Andrea says:

    Great post! It’s always a bit of a push-and-pull, following your own interests, traipsing after your kids, dragging them along, being dragged along. But I think you’re right–as long as their trusted adults are engaged and excited by tiny things like ants, they can’t help but be, too.

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