It’s a pleasure to invite Candice Lemon-Scott back, and to be invited back to celebrate her #EcoRangers blog tour! Today Candice allows us in on her very own brush with danger during an early wildlife encounter, and how this experience informed her writing of the exciting series. Thanks, Candice! 🙂
For me, stories usually come from an experience I’ve had, something that interests me, or something I care about. I also like weaving science facts into my chapter books for kids. It was a combination of all of these elements that inspired the idea for the Eco Rangers books.
I’ve always loved animals and nature, and as my children grew up, they developed that same love and care for wildlife. As I watch things change so rapidly in our environment, it terrifies me to see how many animals are being listed as threatened, endangered, critically endangered and even extinct. It’s so sad, and irreversible, that this is really what prompted me to write about kids who care for wildlife and who solve environmental mysteries. My recent trip around Australia with my family has made me even more passionate about the need for conservation.
I think the seed of the idea was first planted when my kids were little and I had my first brush with caring for wildlife. We were lucky enough to occasionally see koalas that came to the gumtrees in our yard, but one day the kids found one lying on the frosty grass in our backyard. Of course, I immediately knew something was wrong because koalas don’t stay on the ground. When they are it’s usually at night and only while they’re moving from tree to tree. I went out and took a closer look. The koala was wet from mildew and looked thin. Its eyes were closed, and it didn’t move, but was breathing. It was alive.
I raced back inside and rang my local wildlife organisation to ask what to do. They asked me to call my local veterinary clinic to see if the vet could take a look at the koala. I then called the vet’s and they asked me if I could bring it in. I immediately said yes but when I got off the phone I wondered how I was going to do it. I didn’t have anything I could secure it in, not even a cardboard box. So, I grabbed the only things I could think of – a washing basket and an old baby blanket.
I took the basket out to the yard, picked the koala up, and placed it inside. I’ve since learned that koalas are actually quite heavy, but since this one was unwell, it was light and didn’t move when I lifted it. I placed the blanket over it gently and took it to the vet’s, putting the koala in the basket in the passenger seat of the car and loading my kids into the back of the car as well. I drove slowly to the clinic and that’s when things started to go wrong. The sleepy koala awoke and stretched a paw out of the basket from under the blanket – a paw with very long, sharp claws. Luckily, we weren’t far away so I quickly parked, put the blanket back over the koala and carried it into the vet’s, also keeping an eye on my two young children.
We were a strange sight among the cats and dogs in the waiting room – one frazzled looking woman, two young children and a koala who was now trying to climb out of the washing basket. Luckily, the vet took us straight in to examine the koala. I’ve since learned, since doing my wildlife carer course, how dangerous it could have been to pick up an injured koala, let alone drive it unsecured to the vet clinic!
That event has stayed with me though, and the Eco Rangers were created. The characters, Ebony and Jay, are inspired by my own children and, in each story, they help look after a wildlife friend and solve environmental mysteries.
Find Candice at the following links…
#authorarticle #inspiration #wildlifeconservation #ecorangers #pelicaninperil
Get the ‘spill’ on Candice Lemon-Scott and her new book, Eco Rangers; Pelican in Peril at the following blog stops…