Though my husband spent 32 years flying airplanes, his university studies and his life-long avocation have been Biology and Ecology. I should have guessed, forty years ago, when he suggested that for our honeymoon trip we go to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior, 30 miles by boat from Duluth Minnesota, that I had signed on for a life-long course in the natural sciences. And so it has been. Much of my love of nature has been encouraged and deepened by his narrations on nature hikes that we take together.
Though I love nature, I never can get through an entire book on beetles, lichens, trees, birds or Galapagos turtles. One dynamic of our relationship is that we each read what we love and share it. I read mostly poetry and fiction; he reads mostly non-fiction--primarily science and history; and we both benefit by the other's passion for their subject matter..
Taking a hike with my husband is always a learning experience. A few days ago we were hiking in the foothills and I asked what kind of conifers the trees were. Once again he showed me in a way that I will not forget: Douglas Fir female cones have little snake-tongue appendages protruding from the cones. He studied to be a science teacher--before the airplanes stole his heart--but never pursued it formally. Instead he became a teacher-father and now, in retirement, volunteers as a teacher/tour guide for students on field trips to the DMNS.