March 23, 2016.

Last week I discussed the downside to ecological awareness, i.e. an enhanced knowledge of environmental destruction and the guilt and frustration that goes with it. However, there’s an equally important side to the coin: the thrill of discovery in the natural world.

My parents planned a visit to see me on the Florida Panhandle, and during their time here my mother became more and more interested in a boat ride. On her final evening with us, the wind was too fierce to try the Gulf of Mexico or one of the many nearby bays, so my husband and I put the boat in on East River, a small, tannin-rich waterway that winds its way through swampy bogs and pine forests.

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