Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin

We first started watching the Crocodile Hunter in Alaska - a remarkably reptile-free area. We were all charmed, amused, intrigued, by this big enthusiastic guy leaping around in his anatomically correct shorts and raving about his crocodiles.

It started the kids on what continues to be an enormous interest in and love for reptiles in general. When we went to Virginia they could find red-eared sliders in the ponds, mid-sized land tortoises, a variety of frogs, and multiple snakes (harmless mostly but one cotton mouth who was treated with deep respect). They learned to see the beauty in all of these amazing animals, and knew how to treat them with care.

When we were hiking once in California we came across a colony of small salamanders - gorgeous little things with tiny, impractical looking legs and bulgy eyes. We looked them up when we got home and found out they are quite rare and endangered and the kids solomnly decided not to tell any of their friends where the little critters were living - just in case. They felt a responsibility that was rooted in their lessons from Steve.

He inspired us all as well to want to go to Australia. Naturally we've never done it, but we'd all still love to at least visit and see some of the incredible things he shared. I think all the kids at one time or another secretly wanted to go work for Steve at his animal park.

There was an honesty to the man, and a generosity that was incredibly appealing. He was a part of our lives, and we will miss him.

1 comment:

child of unknown number said...

i never told you this, but he was my idol. he inspired my zoologist dream. i want to do what he did. kinda silly, but there you go. i want to jump around in anatomically correct shorts and show people what is beautiful about nature. i bet stingray is going to be popular eating for a while.