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Woodland Worry Walks

winter-trail

On a recent flight I read the airline magazine. A pleasant read, well-suited to the audience and timeframe. The article on forest bathing stuck with me. Forest bathing is a health activity of Japanese origin that is, in brief, a slow, mindful walk in the deep woods. Look around, take in the details, and breathe deeply because apparently there’s some very good stuff in forest air. While I’d heard the term, I hadn’t paid it much attention, but on this short flight there wasn’t much else clamoring for my attention.

Our daily dog walks are not slow, and since we walk the same trails frequently there isn’t much gawking at the minutia. The story brought to the fore how I actually walk in these familiar woods — in cold weather head down to be sure I’m not stepping on ice, (as noted) always quickly, usually discussing daily woes with the hubs. At least twice a week either or both of us gets worked into a froth about something.

Occasionally I snap out of it and snap a pic of something interesting — at least I’m somewhat aware of my surroundings. So while I may be getting the aerobic benefit, I am clearly missing any additional benefits. Plus, these walks don’t take us into anything that could be labeled a forest, just some well-wooded acreage.

On the New Year’s Resolution list: Enjoy the great outdoors. With the crazy pup’s high energy, a key reason for the activity, that won’t happen on the dog walk. But I’m pretty sure nature is available to experience at almost any other time. . .

 

 

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The Eagle Has Landed! or More Bad Nature Photography

“Look – out on the ice. Is those hawks or eagles?”

Another matching bird flies low overhead and lands near the others.

“Eagles, they’re eagles.”

“Let me borrow your phone to take a pic.”

“We’re too far away, you won’t get much.”

“But I’ll get something.”

 

eagles-1

“Let’s walk a little farther down the bridge. We’ll be a bit closer so you can get a better shot.”

eagles-2

“Now you can see them better. Slightly.”

One bird flies away, another takes to the air swooping over the open water closer to the bridge.

“Take a video.”

“By the time I get the phone out again, the eagle will be gone.”

After almost a minute of watching the bird, reach for phone.

Bird immediately flies back to the resting spot on the ice.

Some things are meant to be enjoyed in the moment.

Nature Stinks

The trail we most often use for dog walking runs along a river. Several times a year sections are closed due to flooding, and frequently after a good rain we’re dodging puddles and commenting on which areas have gone boggy. Last year the mosquitoes were almost unbearable. I’m particularly appealing to the little buggers and the hubs would have to wave them off my back as we walked — even after applying a healthy (unhealthy??) coating of OFF!

mushroom

For all the dampness this year, the mosquitoes are thankfully few. Recently what’s almost unbearable is the smell. Not, mind you, at the height of heat and humidity. Rather now, when tempuratures are moderate but the humidity still hangs thick.

mushroom-2

Even the mushrooms keeled over in a day or two.

Seen and Unseen Nature

Sadly, I have joined the ranks of (insert plural pejorative noun of your choice) who carry a phone with them everywhere. To add to the insanity, the hubs put an SD card in the thing so I can take pictures at will with no concern about storage. Snap happy, that’s me. Back in the day, a roll of film did focus the mind. The usefulness/wisdom/point of taking all these pictures is debatable. And the hubs is no help. Take a picture, he says, You can put it on your blog. Sho ’nuff.

What is sure, my future as a nature photographer is nill.

Cases in point: Three pictures that barely capture the intended subject but continue to take up digitial space.

black squirrel

Exhibit A: Black squirrel at rest stop. Center, below the tree and above the side view mirror. Zooming in doesn’t help (any of these) as these are zoomed as far in as possible here; any more and the image falls apart.

deer 1

Exhibit B: Deer in the clearing. Again, center of the image. At least I know how to center the subject in the frame.

suspended leaf suspended leaf 2

Exhibit C: A twofer and probably the most worthwhile of the lot. A leaf suspended on a spider web so it looks to be hanging freely in the air.

Well, I’m glad I got that off my chest. Now, if I could only bring myself to get these off the SD card.

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