and on and on and on…

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IMG_1300My son is a narrator. Ever since he was a little boy, he has narrated the action, the scenery, the world around him. When the doll was a baby, he would climb into her crib to tell her stories from his imagination some rooted in our everyday real world, but mostly from his vast imagination. So it really should come as no surprise to me today when he narrates while we are out walking on a trail. The problem being, there are so many things to see and hear while walking a mountain trail, the last thing you want to hear is your son telling you about your walk on the trail.

IMG_1305Hoping to beat the rain clouds, we decided to take a day trip over to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park and take a hike back to the Spruce Flat Falls; a 70-foot waterfall. As was the norm, the boy started the hike in the lead, followed by the girls and then Dad and I bringing up the rear. After a while, the boy was passed by the girls but still kept close to them. At one point, we caught up with the girls when they stopped, confused by another group ten feet ahead of them looking up the mountain side. “What are they looking at?” I said to my hub. “Why’d they stop?” He wondered. When we reached them, we all looked up the mountain side, wondering what if anything the other group was seeing. When lo and behold was a bear, making tracks away from us. “My first bear and I’m not getting mauled…, ” Stephanie said. “No, there are too many people making noise so he’s getting out of dodge” my hubby explained.

Lichen looking very happy growing on this rock.

Lichen looking very happy growing on this rock.

With that, the girls seemed in a hurry to put some good distance between us, disappearing quickly down the trail. “Are you okay?” My husband looked back at me, seemingly asking permission to chase the girls. “Go…I’m fine,” I said as I slowly brought up the rear of our party.  Not much later I ran into the boy, who was intent on being my companion the rest of the hike. “Mom do you see this? This is what is known as Lichen. While it looks and behaves like a plant, it’s actually symbiotic organism that shares resources with the plant making it mutually beneficial for them combined”. “Oh, that sounds like a Trill…” I replied. “I’ve never heard of a Trill in the natural world before mom.” He said with a condescending tone. “Bay, a Trill is a species of humanoid on Star Trek Deep Space Nine. What was her name? Jadzia Dax, I think. In any case, she was a species of Trill who joined with a “slug-like” symbiont, who could live many generations, thus passing down information from one symbiont to another”. “I’ve never heard of them…” He began. “Well, it’s a cool premise for a character” I replied.”Regardless…” The boy picked up where he left off, “Now the lichen can grown on plants, wood, bark, rocks and an interesting fact is that like plants they produce their own food through photosynthesis. However, don’t be fooled by their appearance”. “Huh, so what does the other organism get out of this arrangement?” I asked. “Protection from predators and shared resources such as nutrients and an anchor to stay in one place”. He explained.

IMG_1311As we grew closer and closer to the falls, I began tuning him out, concentrating more on climbing over rocks and employing my new and improved ab muscles to help keep me from propelling over the side of the mountain. Yet the boy droned on and on with the science lesson until I asked him to stop. “Bay, I know this is really interesting…” I began but was interrupted. “No, it’s really not, I just thought I’d inform you while accompanying you.” He said. “Okay, but dude, we’re in a forest and if you’re talking the whole way through, how will we be able to hear another bear approaching us?” I reasoned. “Considering we already saw a bear leave the area, I highly doubt another one will be coming by” He replied. “Bay, stop talking. Seriously, just listen to mother nature.” I said growing more and more frustrated with by each step because he wouldn’t stop talking.  “Mother nature is boring, but not in the way you think. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Mother Nature is amazing when you consider…” He continued while I tuned him out. By the time we reached the falls, I was ready for a respite. Looking at my husband he asked. “Are you alright?” “Yes, but you can walk with the boy on the way back. I want some peace and quiet”. I replied. Smiling back at me he said, “Well he’s always been a narrator”. I smiled back, agreeing but added, “Yes and now it’s your turn to listen to him…”

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