Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Bucket List

By: Judi Stuart
Port Discover - Visitor Services Manager

Summer Bucket List

Some of my neighbors are moving south, to South America in fact, and I’m going to miss them. The twenty- two avian acrobats who live in the house in my front yard are flying to spend the winter in warmer lands.

After many years of trying, we finally were able to attract a colony of purple martins. They made our summer delightful with their music, family life, and soaring antics. We spent hours watching them and trying to figure out what they were doing and why.

Now the martins are leaving, and that is one more sign of the season’s changing. Soon the humming birds will be gone too. It reminds us all of our summer bucket lists which need to be completed. Have you checked yours lately?

If you have not been to the new Jennette’s Pier at the beach, you are in for a real treat. For a donation, you can walk out on the pier and feel like you are in the lap of the natural world. Leaning over the railing and watching the fish, jelly fish, skates, sting rays and other ocean life in their habitat is a glorious experience.

Other activities not to be missed, if it has been a while since you’ve enjoyed them, are going to the Wright Brothers Memorial and attending the Lost Colony Drama. Climb up to the memorial and survey the landscape. At the drama, be sure and take the backstage tour to learn all the behind the scenes secrets. Hear how DNA testing may soon alter the legend of the lost English colonists.

An afternoon at Port Discover and the Museum of the Albemarle will please both young and old. A new inhabitant and a new exhibit are soon to be unveiled at the science center. Go to the Downtown Waterfront Market on Saturday morning and enjoy the products that are grown locally.

Get out with your children and view the summer constellations which differ from the winter sky. Start planning your fall garden, and let the kids help with the preparation.

If you are a teacher, I know that turning the calendar to August directed your mind to your plans for the new school year. Look into taking you class on the H.A.S. IT Tour to the Art Center, Port Discover, and the Museum of the Albemarle. For a small fee, your students can spend a day exploring new exhibits and activities at all three places. Go on line to see the hands-on outreach programs that Port Discover offers.

Reading the story of the Wright brothers’ childhood and how they liked to experiment and build and had their mother’s encouragement reminded me how important it is that kids have a variety of experiences which will open doors for them. As William Wordsworth said, “the child is the father of the man.” Work on that summer bucket list.
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