365 Nature – Day 129

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.

Today is the 90th birthday of my greatest inspiration, Sir David Attenborough. There has been no person who has had greater influence over the course of my career than David Attenborough. I can’t recall the first time I watched one of his programs, but for many years now I’ve not only watched and watched – and watched again – all of his shows, but I’ve also read his books. His autobiography is a wonderful account of his lifelong connection to the natural world. He has brought nature from near and far to the world. His passion for nature has never wavered and he’s spent his life successfully encouraging our own connections with nature.

His voice is my comfort, my blanket. When I was in labor with my daughter at the hospital, I turned on Blue Planet in my hospital room. We listened to his Life Stories audiobooks while driving around Norway. When I have trouble falling asleep, I turn on a David Attenborough reading me stories. For our tenth wedding anniversary, my husband gave me a signed David Attenborough photo.

In his autobiography he shares his philosophy of sharing the wonder of nature with people. In doing so, he hopes we will appreciate and love nature enough to want to protect it and save it. He never insults the intelligence of his viewers or readers and lets them come to their own decision to love nature and he doesn’t lecture us on what we need to do. I appreciate how his programs avoid the doom and gloom of environmental destruction and instead focus on the simple wonder. I’ve embraced that philosophy as my own and in my writing and other projects I simply aim to share the wonder of nature. In showing others what lives in our backyard, in our cities and all around us, I hope to spark that interest and caring for our co-inhabitants and thus the responsibility of being good neighbors. I can’t relate how many times I’ve introduced somebody to a common creature only to spark a new interest and awareness.

When interviewers ask him when his interest in nature was sparked, he always responds with ‘whenever did you lose yours?’ This is something else I’ve taken to heart now that I have a naturally curious four year old. May that connection never die.


Kelly Brenner
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  1. I am so bummed right now that the only programs of his on Netflix are those that he narrated. None of the ones he was actually in the episodes are available for streaming. Might have to start checking them out from our library… I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jane Goodall and Edward O. Wilson. I’d love to meet Attenborough too!

  2. I’d love to meet him too Michael! To be honest, I’ve gone all out for my David Attenborough DVD collection, even buying a UK DVD player so I can watch them all. Some of the older ones aren’t even available in the US, in any format.

  3. I’ll be suggesting some DVD purchases to the Multnomah County Library. 🙂

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