The Black-crowned Night Herons are suddenly everywhere. In the last several weeks I have begun spotting them everywhere–perched on power lines, showing up at the marina, by the boat ramps, even on the boardwalk of our neighborhood. They have arrived for the summer. This one was hanging out by the Nassau Bay Hilton, sharing space with a Yellow-crowned Night Heron.
There’s a lot of discussion these days–though not nearly enough–about the nature deficit disorder today’s kids suffer from, as pointed out in Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods. Our kids no longer spend time outdoors like we did growing up.
Children today spend an average of 6 hours each day in front of the computer and TV but less than 4 minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play. Most outdoor play is with organized sports. Kids are losing the connection to nature, and that’s a frightening prospect. What happens to the stewardship of our planet, when the stewards no longer care?
But Louv’s follow up book, The Nature Principle, addresses the fact that today’s adults are suffering nature deficit disorder, too. Truly, how much time do we adults spend in nature? We all must make a concerted effort to get back outdoors–for our health, our sanity, and our future.