It’s an old story, the stuff of legend and joke: In a 1981 televised interview, Barbara Walters (later of The View) supposedly asked the great Katherine Hepburn, “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” But the question wasn’t quite as New Agey as it sounds. 

At some point in the conversation, the 74-year-old Hepburn likened her standing in Hollywood to that of a tree, and, with that, Walters asked the next obvious question: “What kind of tree?”

This exchange came to mind as I pondered a question of my own: What aspect of nature do I admire most? Am I a tree person or a trout person?

Or am I a bird man?

You can love everything in nature, but there are certain things to which each of us feel some special affinity, a kindredness.

Do you feel sisterhood with trees?

A brotherhood with birds? 

Do I share psychic space with small brooks or massive oceans?

Some people become devoted to one aspect of the Great All out there. I have friends who are birders. A son of a friend likes snakes and salamanders and can identify just about all of them. I know a scientist I could call at any time for help in identifying plants native to Maryland (though there is an app for that now).

What kind of human are you?

A woman of the water? 

A man of the mountain?

If you had to pick one, what would your Nature Family be?

The birds?

The deer?

The wild flowers? 

Sounds like a New Agey, Barbara WaWa question, but I think you know what I mean, and there’s an answer somewhere.

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