Nature Notes: Discovery in Nature


by Minako Nishiyama, Teaching Intern

Last semester, I took a "Nature Photography" class at San Jose State University. It was my first experience ever of seriously trying to capture the beauty of nature with a camera.

"Let's see...do I have my tripod? Is the battery okay? Does my car have enough gas?"

Every Sunday morning, I woke up before 4 a.m. and left for the field trip sites, my heart filled with excitement. Yes, photography shoots start before the sunrise. I drove in the dark, sipped a hot coffee, and then set all the gears for photography. The field trip sites differed each time, so I was able to go to many beautiful places in the Bay Area.

One time, I went to Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve. 'Illustrating natural symmetry' was one of the assignments that I needed to complete during the field trip. I walked around the marsh and took a lot of photos; however, I could not find any symmetrical objects. I was about to give up and go back home when I finally found a beautiful symmetry. A log in the water and its reflection made a great symmetry; it was like a space ship in the universe. Through this experience, I realized that nature would show us very interesting faces when we make an effort to see it.

The EV helps children to directly connect with nature and make their own discovery. One of my favorite subjects is Nature in Your Neighborhood, because we take the students out to look more closely at their schoolyard, not unlike I was doing at the Pescadero Marsh. Whenever I do this service, I am very surprised to see how excited the children are to find something new in their schoolyard. I want to continue to encourage children to make more discoveries in nature.

Photo credit by author