Saturdays are not the only time where the crazy good fun happens. I also work all day on Sundays doing much of the same thing from the previous day.
It’s pretty funny to see the comparison of both days back to back. It’s the weekend, so I see a lot of families coming through. For some strange reason though, I seem to get a lot more questions on Saturdays than Sundays. However, we get phone calls through the entire day.
Some days are quiet with only a few visitors passing through. Other days, it looks like an elementary school hall crammed with children screaming and loud voices. Weekdays tend to be more mellow because of work and school. Especially with the weather. If it’s a nice sunny day, I guarantee more people will come. But if it’s raining cats and dogs and deer, people tend to stay away.
Sundays can be a little nuttier than Saturdays because there’s only one staff member working that day. I work on Sundays with Liza Fischel, naturalist, and educator. I always have such a great time working with her. She is a positive, bright, funny, and beautiful lady whom I’ve learned so much from.
I actually met Liza years ago, when I was eight. My family and I had been looking for a place to spend outside and stumbled across the Nature Center. Unfortunately, it four’ o clock and we met Liza, who was saying goodbye to another family.
She told us that they were closing, but after explaining to her that this was our first time here, she offered to take us on a tour while she checked the preserve before closing. Every evening before we close, we do what we call the walk through. Here, we walk around the preserve letting people on the trails know that we’re closing so we don’t lock them in.
So as we walked through the trail, my Mom explained to Liza that she had homeschooled her children. I remembered feeling kind of bored just walking, so Liza gave us a game to play.
She would ask us a question like, “Can you find a critter who is flying?”
So my older Sarah, myself, and my baby sister Jasmine, who was just four at the time, would look around the preserve for something flying. At one point, we were asked to find something crawling, and Liza pointed out a Daddy long-leg spider.
Now I love nature, but I can admire spiders from a distance. A particularly far distance if you please. I remember watching her bend down to pick up the spider and hold it in her hand.
I thought, “She’s either crazy or really brave!”
The walk was wonderful and I made a new friend that day. A few days later, my Mom had us doing some drawing for our art lessons. I asked, “Can I give my picture to the lady with the spiders?”
“You mean, Liza?” Mom smiled.
Liza still has those pictures on her wall in the office. Two years later, I became a volunteer there and have done so many fun activities with her since. We’ve become like family rather than colleagues. I often call her Auntie at times.
Sundays start off with a free yoga class that goes on for an hour, and then we may set up the classroom if there is a program going on. If not then there maybe some paperwork to do. All with lots of laughs involved.
Often there is normal Nature Center madness lurking about ready to grab anyone or anything! Like the time someone apparently dropped a bunch of goldfish in our pond.
Someone had came up to the desk and asked, “Do you guys have new fish here?”
I said no, but then she showed me a picture of a whole school of gold floating at the top of the pond. I went to investigate and sure enough, Nemo had found his home.
The fish are still there and now we’ve spotted a lot more species of bird dlying around. Besides seeing the hawks and herons all the time, a King Fisher was also spotted.
Our dear King Fisher having lunch on a branch. Poor Nemo!!
It’s this happy randomness that keeps things exciting at the Center and I truely believe it’s what makes this place special.
These weekends are probably the most exciting fun I’ve ever experinced and I know more good times are just waiting to come!