Top 10 of 2013 – #5 Learned About Animals


Top 10 Instagrams of 2013: #5 Learned About Animals

By Rowena Mynott

As 2013 starts to wind down its a good time to reflect on the year that has just passed and the year that is to come. I have obviously been in a reflective mood recently as last month I decided to start a monthly ‘Taking Stock‘ routine: pausing life for a few moments to realise what you are happy and thankful for right in that very moment. Right now as I sit here and look through my images from 2013, I embrace the good and the sad, the ups and the downs and the growth that has taken place. This year has focused on family: Visits and holidays with family from overseas early in the year, my grans passing mid year and these days realising my son is no longer a toddler but is growing into the most incredible child I could ask for.

72&Rising is also growing and developing. I left the magazine format behind and embraced the world of blogging. Thank you to all those that embraced that change with me. It was a difficult decision to make as I loved the old product, but for me right now this is where we need to be. Who knows what the future holds but in 2014 you can certainly expect some exciting things happening here as this process of writing, taking pictures and posting on a regular basis becomes more fluid. I’m re-defining 72 and I look forward to hearing from you about what you would like me to focus on a little more.  There will be plenty of the old: travel and photography but also some new … Let me know.

So as a way to reflect on 2013 I decided to give you a little glimpse into my life and share some of our Top 10 family highlights as seen from my Instagram.  If you would like to follow along, I will be posting one each morning for the next 10 days. Today is Learned About Animals.

Learned About Animals

I have always loved animals from a young age.  I grew up in the country and was surrounded by both domestic animals, cattle and wildlife. We would often pop down to the farm which we lived next to and play with the calves letting them suckle our fingers. I have memories of being woken up in the middle of the night so we could watch another farmers sheep give birth to tiny lambs in the barn opposite. My brother and I were always bringing home an assortment of kittens that “needed” homes, injured birds or frogspawn from the local moat. Between us we had an impressive collection over the years of dogs, cats, rabbits, fish, a tortoise, hamsters, rats and stick insects.

From very early on I have taught my son to engage with wildlife. To sit quietly on our deck and watch the lizards scurry around, to watch and listen to birds in the trees. Understanding the value of each creature no matter how big or small makes you appreciate nature as a whole and gives a new understanding of your place in the world. Mr 3 knows to respect wildlife but not to fear it.  He knows not to touch snakes that visit our yard but also that he doesn’t need to put a shovel in them either. We pick caterpillars from our vegetable patch and keep them in a jar, feed them and watch them turn into butterflies rather than kill them. When we visit national parks, we explore animal tracks and cicada shells, leaf shapes and bird sounds. This year we have learned about the cycle of life from the birth of tadpoles, to the death of birds on a shorelines.

As I write this post I listen to the sad news of Nelson Mandelas passing. He has been an incredible inspiration to so many of us.  Over the years I have had his quotes posted on my wall or in the old days of Facebook posted in my ‘quotes’ section, but I’d like to share this quote with you. It is a sentiment that I have used time again especially during my marine education programs. It is the key concept to reducing impacts on our marine environment such as overfishing, shark nets, pollution. R.I.P Nelson Mandela and thank you for your light, your inspiration and your vision.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world

– Nelson Mandela


Image 10
We found a cicada shell on one of our nature rambles
Image 11
Learning about silk worms at play school
Image 14
Our ‘pet’ carpet python sunning himself on the roof after a few days of rain
Image 18
Saying ‘Hi’ to some friendly goats
Image 21
We found this beautiful specimen whilst we were out walking one day
Mr 3 always likes to pop over to visit this lonely fellow
Spotted hiding amongst the grass in the playground
We hatched our very own tadpoles this season and watched them grow into stunning little frogs
They grew up big and strong
And moved on to find a home of their own
We also sadly learned about death after hundreds of shearwaters died from exhaustion on our local beaches
Image 19
This lovely lady who nested by our house abandoned her two chicks after a particularly large storm. Unfortunately they didn’t survive.
Did you have pets as kids? Do your children? Do you feel that it has had a positive impact on their interactions with nature?

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