Curiosity about the world is inherent in every living thing. To find out about it, it is enough to observe the infant or any young animal for a while. It explores its surroundings and learns it with all its senses: eyesight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. From the moment we are born, we are all explorers of a complicated and fascinating world. In some people, this curiosity diminishes with age or with excessive daily chores. Many of us, however, develop an interest in nature throughout our lives.
As far as I can remember, I have always been intrigued and fascinated by all matters relating to the world of living things, especially other animals, living in my surroundings. One of my earliest memories is of a walk down a mountain path, in the company of a nurse. I was two at the time and lived in India. It was after the rain and the ground smelled strongly. At the bend, the nanny met two acquaintances: a man and a woman. The woman was dressed in a magenta sari and against the background of the greenery of roadside plants she looked like a giant orchid. Soon I was bored of listening to the adults' conversation and wandered towards a nearby ditch, where I was delighted to discover two giants, rotten green naked snails, that came out of their hiding places after the rain. They crawled slowly along the ditch, leaving behind shiny threads of mucus. Leaning over them, admired, how beautiful they moved, even though they had no legs. I watched them entranced, until my nurse came and saw, What am I doing, did not distract me from the snails, saying, that I shouldn't see such an ugly thing. For me, however, they were not only fascinating, but in its own way no less beautiful, than a woman wearing a magenta sari.
All my life, during which I saw a lot of all kinds of animals, it always surprised me, that there are people, who, at the sight of some beings, shout out: "Isn't that disgusting?” or: "horror!”. I think, that a true naturalist must be objective: no creature is hideous or disgusting. Each is part of nature, and you don't necessarily have to bed a rattlesnake or a nettle, and you can even get angry, when giant snails break into the tent and devour our food (it happened to me on one of my trips), however, it should be remembered, that all these beings have the same right to exist, like us.
When I was five or six, the next stage in my career as a naturalist was collecting centipedes and ladybirds, which I put in matchboxes. When I moved with my parents and siblings to the Greek island of Corfu, my interests in nature flourished for good. Discovering the wonderful nature of the island, not only did I pick up butterfly and beetle blemishes, but I also kept them at home, to look at their behavior. There have always been a lot of different creatures in my room or in my garden: scorpions, eagle owls, sea horses and turtles. Later, I was fortunate enough to be a student and friend of Dr. Theodore Stefanides, which extensive, the almost encyclopedic knowledge of nature is truly impressive. This is him, when I was eight, equipped me with the first "professional” equipment - pocket microscope. Thus, it opened the way for me to areas unknown to me. I soon discovered it, that ordinary ponds and canals are full of tiny creatures, and every puddle is teeming with life.
When i grew up, I became a professional animal hunter for zoos and traveled to such distant places, like for example. Patagonia, Cameroon, Guyana and Malaysia. Over the years, I have been lucky enough to see many of the wonders of nature. I remember, when I used to lie on the beach, surrounded by enormous sea elephants with wrinkled skin. Some of them were snoring loudly, others, when I got too close to them, they lifted their bodies high, showering me with a hail of pebbles and scaring me with open maws, from which came out menacing roars. In the tropical forests of South America, I caught electric eels, one and a half meters long, capable of electrocuting the victim with the current it generates, what size they. In the mountain forest of Costa Rica, I watched the beautiful flight of a quetzal, whose golden-green tail, a meter long, shone against the sky like a gleaming ribbon. In another part of the world, I spent an extremely exciting and somewhat dangerous half hour, trying to capture the black mamba, one of the most poisonous African snakes, who slipped out of the cage at night. I had the pleasure to get acquainted and make friends with the platypus, creature, which looks just like Donald Duck wearing a fur coat. Nevertheless, I enjoy watching sparrows as well, roaming the hedge outside my kitchen window.
Every naturalist can consider himself lucky for at least two reasons: first - he knows how to enjoy the world around him, and his life is therefore much richer than that of humans, which nature has no interest in. Secondly, a naturalist can practice his hobby literally anywhere. Observation of beings, struggling to survive in the middle of a big city, it is equally fascinating, what a hike through a bustling tropical jungle. A true naturalist watches with equal interest the herds of game on the African plains and the earwigs living in his garden.