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In my opinion, one of the greatest things to do on a Saturday is to get out into the great outdoors. After a busy week of translating and working together with my tribal friends, it is nice to steal away into the jungle with my boys for a few hours of exploration and discovery.
Actually, if you're in the Northern Kentucky area in the United States on Wednesday, April 6, join my family and me at the Creation Museum for a showing of our fourth Adventure DVD, where the boys and I explore the jungle searching for an elusive tasmanian tiger, often claimed to be extinct. My family and I will only be at the museum for this one day, so make the most of it and come see one of our jungle hikes on the big screen.
But anyway, here is a story about a Saturday hike we had back in the jungle. We awoke to a drizzly morning socked in with clouds. Our house sits on a mountain top with a 280-degree view of 20 or more ranges of jagged mountain peaks, but this morning we could barely see 50 feet out of the windows. The morning clouds had us trapped, so I was thankful to sit back in the hanging chairs and enjoy a second cup of coffee with Libby. Finally, about 9:00 a.m. after a leisurely morning, Hudson, Kian, and I gathered some collecting gear and set off to discover an unexplored pond that was about a 45-minute hike down past the bottom of the airstrip.
I had seen this pond from the air many times before and had always wondered about it. This brackish pond never dried up, and so it was obviously fed by some deep spring that welled up there. The tribal people have many legends tied to these high mountain top marsh ponds, and there is one pond particularly that the people won’t go near. They say it is an “evil” pond and will shoot fire out to devour anyone who comes near! This pond, however, had no such legend about it, and so our tribal friends didn’t try to detour us from visiting it. I was especially curious to see what kind of insects lived around this pond.
We worked our way across the logs and muddy terrain of the cool high mountain jungle towards the pond. Thankfully, as we got close, we met up a tribal friend on the path who showed us where the jungle trail let out near the pond. We continued on and broke out of the dense jungle to another area of high montane scrub and soon spotted the pond.
We had fun wading around in the pond and were happy to find some whirligig beetles. These beautiful little aquatic beetles are surely an un-described species, since no one has ever explored or collected here. We were the first! In fact, since the tribal people have not yet named this pond, we decided to name it “Larry’s pond” in honor of Libby’s dad. Libby’s folks have visited us twice in the tribe and Larry loves to hike around and explore so we thought it fitting to honor him with this little brown pond on a desolate mountain top in the middle of Asia Pacific.
Before we left, we took the GPS coordinates of “Larry’s pond” so that we could report the location and elevation of the new water beetles. We slowly worked our way back to our house and collected as we went. We got another slightly larger species of whirligig beetles at a small jungle stream along with lots of small weevils living on the jungle foliage. We had a great time with the only damper being that I popped off a toenail on my left foot. Ouch! Oh well, I am thankful that the Creator designed our bodies to be able to repair themselves. In a couple of months, it will be as good as new.
Getting out into the great outdoors is a wonderful thing to do as a family. Many children love being outside, and it gives us as parents a great opportunity to teach them about the Creator! So, pick a Saturday, pack some food, grab the kids and go make some memories and discoveries of your own! And join us this Wednesday at the Creation Museum!
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