Posts Tagged ‘Nature’

Cuteness Overload: Animal Encounters at Asylum Lake

Yesterday, my friend Heather and I took an enchanting walk at Asylum Lake Preserve in Kalamazoo. All photos are by Heather Horst, since I left my cell phone at home. As we entered the trail, a turtle greeted us:

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We then said hi to David’s and my favorite tree there — the one we call Ganesha because it looks like an elephant on one side and a laughing old man on the other. Then we turned left and heard little squeaking and squealing noises, which we tried to identify. Moments later, it was me squealing at the cuteness overload:

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These little ones not only posed for us, they made frequent eye contact and performed for us, chasing each other around the trunk of the tree, then pausing to make sure we continued to watch. They swirled around the trunk, climbed over each other and then poked their faces in hide and seek fashion for several minutes. They finally got so involved in their own play that they swirled their way up the tree, and we wandered on to find chipmunks, blue birds and red wing blackbirds.

We also came across these gorgeous mushrooms:

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I always feel a strong Fae presence at Asylum Lake. David and I have hiked it many times in Fall and Winter, but this was my first time in late Spring. Everything felt lush and delightful. So grateful for such ever evolving beauty only five minutes away!

All three encounters offered wisdom relevant to current situations in our neighborhood.

 

Earth Day Celebrations and Happy Ending

David and I have so enjoyed our reunion after nearly three weeks apart due to my trip to Pennsylvania and his own two weeks of training in Arkansas. We spent this weekend hiking and enjoying delicious vegan food, mostly prepped by other people so we could relax and reconnect. Huge thanks to sweet Tania Marie for recommending Veestro, frozen, restaurant quality, preservative-free vegan meals and juices delivered to our door on Friday — with lots of gluten-free options. During our resettling process, David and I decided we wanted some ease and please in the kitchen, with minimal work by either of us. Veestro has been perfect!

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Yesterday, we celebrated Earth Day with some yummy veggie juices and a green smoothie while watching our Zen new groundhog, yet to be named. This little one is definitely not Kalamazoo Kal, Continue reading

Forest Bathing, Indoor Garden and Writing Updates

Several people have inquired how my November writing month went, as well as how we’re enjoying David being in Kalamazoo full-time now. I thought I’d give some quick updates. We still love it here! Every week we find new local hiking spots of such beauty, and we haven’t even begun to explore the various forests one to three hours from here. So far, we just feel delighted to drive three to fifteen minutes to scenes like these:

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Loose Ends, New Year: Mercury Retrograde in January 2017

Happy 2017! I hope you’re all enjoying the shift from a “9” year of completions into a “1” year of new beginnings. It’s a little more fluid than that due to Mercury Retrograde still in effect until January 8th, and then with its decreasing shadow period for awhile afterwards. As with any external energy influence, you can align your attitude and tasks with the energies in order to create more ease and flow in your own experience. Traditional advice says, “Don’t make contracts or start anything new in a Mercury Retrograde period,” but it all depends on how you embrace or resist those influences. In my own life, I’ve continued tying up loose ends since December 19th, including “tying the Celtic Knot on Yule,” which David and I consciously chose for both the return to light aspect and for the sense of completion at this level of our spiral journey together. Continue reading

Kai Altair ~ The Calling

The Unbounded Spirit ~ Tree Hugging Now Scientifically Validated

Thanks to RMN for pointing to this timely piece, which goes so well with yesterday’s post, “3 Tree Interventions and a 10/10 1-Day Special.”

The Unbounded Spirit ~ Tree Hugging Now Scientifically Validated

It has been recently scientifically validated that hugging trees is good for you. Research has shown that you don’t even have to touch a tree to get better, you just need to be within its vicinity has a beneficial effect.

In a recently published book, Blinded by Science, the author Matthew Silverstone, proves scientifically that trees do in fact improve many health issues such as concentration levels, reaction times, depression, stress and other various forms of mental illness. He even points to research indicating a tree’s ability to alleviate headaches in humans seeking relief by communing with trees.

The author points to a number of studies that have shown that children show significant psychological and physiological improvement in terms of their health and well being when they interact with plants and trees. Specifically, the research indicates that children function better cognitively and emotionally in green environments and have more creative play in green areas. Also, he quotes a major public health report that investigated the association between green spaces and mental health concluded that “access to nature can significantly contribute to our mental capital and wellbeing.”

Read and view the rest of this post here.

Sarah Anne Lawless ~ Rewilding Realities in Small Towns

This is such an inspiring and creative article! Thanks to Ann L. for forwarding this piece to me: “Rewilding Realities in Small Towns.” Anyone interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle will enjoy the tips, observations and possibly even some of the opportunities Sarah shares in her story of finding the home and lifestyle she always dreamed of but could never afford in the city.

Ann said this post reminded her of Willowcrow (from The Druid’s Garden) and me due to our work regenerating landscapes in forgotten places and “promoting the viability of small towns.” Although Goshen, IN is technically not a small town (over 30,000 people), it often feels like one, and our location certainly enables me to walk to nearly everything I need within a mile or at most two. I see why Ann thought of me, because many of the advantages Sarah shares are ones I’ve received by downshifting from city life in more exotic places. There’s a lot to be said for rewilding wherever we are and wherever most needs our help. Small towns (and even small cities in the Rust Belt) in Canada and the US offer tremendous opportunities for quasi-homesteading, which means you provide for many of your needs but also live in an area with infrastructure and community. Walkability, fewer regulations and much lower cost of living open wide possibilities for sustainability and freedom.

On a personal note, renting two houses with full yard gardens, a mini orchard, and two garages in Goshen costs me substantially less per month than most postage stamp apartments I’ve rented elsewhere. No, I don’t walk outside to Lake Tahoe, Puget Sound, Monterey Bay, or Lake Michigan. LOL, not by a long shot! But it feels so good to create beauty, wild habitat, and abundance rather than consuming beauty and wild habitat and having nothing tangible to show for the (formerly huge) expense. It has definitely been a lifestyle shift, which initially took getting used to, but I love having the writing office/classroom/guesthouse/root cellar/fermentation kitchen/indoor garden growing station next door and a permaculture demonstration garden just steps away.

In any case, if you’ve ever fantasized about having your own little plot of land or living more sustainably without needing to become a millionaire or go fully off grid in the middle of nowhere, check out “Rewilding Realities in Small Towns.” You might find yourself pleasantly surprised!