My recent post about Red Kites mentioned my reaction as an adult to seeing this majestic bird – every glimpse is as magical as the first time I seen them. And it got me thinking, there is no doubt that my experiences growing up have formed my current interest in nature, my career path in the environmental sector and my creative inspiration. Holidays in the caravan to Loch Tay, the Highlands and the Lake District, roaming around woods and driving amongst mountains. But do my specific memories and experiences influence my reactions, opinions and experiences as an adult?  For me, as a child, spotting the rare Red Kite was a special moment, to be treasured. And as an adult I can gaze at them and still see wonder in the forked tail and beauty of flight.  How much of this adult reaction is linked to that childhood experience?

Eurasian Lynx - Of Tracks & Antlers

Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) – Highland Wildlife Park

The reintroduction of Lynx.  I see both sides, discuss both the pros and the cons but I support this more than I am against it.  I visited the Highland Wildlife Park as a child and I remember the Lynx – crucially, my memory really only remembers the Lynx.  My love of owls? For many summers my parents left our caravan at Kenmore and my summers consisted of most weekends spent exploring the surrounding landscape of Loch Tay. Our journey for many years involved spotting a Tawny Owl, or 2, on the fenceposts at the edge of a plantation near the roadside. For a while they were a common sight, but slowly they disappeared. The excitement of spotting them, the disappointment of not.

Pine Marten - Of Tracks & Antlers

Pine Marten (Martes martes) – Balmacara

Pine Martens are one of my favourite animals.  Memories of sitting in the caravan near Balmacara watching two pine martens just out the window, tempted by jam sandwiches.  You couldn’t have got closer to them!  For an animal that is considered rare I was lucky enough to spot them numerous times growing up.

I have no doubt that my parents choice of caravan holidays throughout Scotland and North England in my childhood has hugely influenced my love for nature and landscape overall. But can the more specific adult “opinions” and likes be directly linked to those childhood memories and experiences.  Or is it just coincidence I think seeing a lynx in the wild would be amazing?