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Student interview about nature

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, December 27th, 2006 at 9:47 am in Nature.

Dear Gary:
My name is Shane Mann and I’m a 4th grade student at Ayers Elementary in Concord. I am a big fan of nature, and I enjoy your columns about wild animals. We are writing a newspaper at my school and I’d like to interview you for an article. Here are the questions:

1. When did you start to enjoy the gift of nature?

2. What made you decide to write articles for a newspaper?

3. What is it like to work for the Contra Costa Times?

4. What is your favorite type of animal to write about?

Thank you and have a Happy New Year.

Sincerely, Shane Mann, Concord

Dear Shane:
Can you please send me a copy of your newspaper when it gets printed? I’d be interested in looking at it.

Here are my answers to your questions:

1. I think I first enjoyed the gift of nature when I was about 3 or 4 years old and found a roly-poly bug crawling in my backyard. I let it crawl around in my hand for a while and then release it back in the grass where I found it. That’s the first thing I can remember. Ever since, I’ve been fascinated with everything that has to do with nature. And that, of course, means EVERYTHING … from living creatures, to plants, to everything that makes up this earth.

2. I was working as Curator (the person who cares for all the wild animals) for the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek back in 1970. I decided I wanted to try and write a column about wild animals for the Contra Costa Times so I could get some publicity for the museum. The newspaper started me off writing a column once-a-week. Soon I was writing two columns a week, then three, and finally five columns like I do today. I also started writing about pets and the environment because readers sent me letters and e-mails asking questions about those things.

3. It is a lot of fun to work here. At least I think it is. I get to write about the things I love and I have a lot of friends who also work here. They are neat people who write about lots of other things. Putting out a newspaper every day of the week can be very exciting. There is always somebody here doing something, day and night.

4. All the animals are my favorites. I like to write about everything. Well, OK, I guess I do like to write about mountain lions more than other animals. That’s because I raised 4-5 mountain lions when I was working at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, and I loved them a lot. But that’s another story, isn’t it?

Good luck with your story and Happy New Year to you! /Gary

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