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Archive for April, 2020

NATURE IS ESSENTIAL

“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”  David Attenborough

It has been a long spring, made worse by this COVID-19 pandemic and the decisions telling all of us to stay home to stay safe.  We are frequently reminded that we should only be venturing out for what is essential.  Of course, for most, “essential” tasks revolve around obtaining food, water, medications and healthcare.  But for me, what is truly essential includes much more than these basics!

What exactly does essential mean? According to The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, something is essential if it is “of utmost importance, basic, indispensable, necessary.”  Some obvious synonyms would be fundamental, cardinal, vital.  Anything that is essential has a sense of urgency and importance.  It is the key thing that keeps one going.

FOR ME, NATURE IS ESSENTIAL. 

Trips into Nature keep me going, make me feel calm and grounded, link me to the miracle of life that is all around. With this long pandemic-shrouded spring, I really needed a trip into Nature.  My plan was to spend the day driving the back roads in and around the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster.  But just before I was set to leave, I saw a news item that said the roads were barricaded to keep people out.  Drats.

My guess is that hordes of people may have descended on the area over the weekend, trampling the fields, crowding the roads, and otherwise ignoring social distancing. After all, it was the first good-weather weekend since this ordeal began.  Or it could just be a random edict.  Either way, my plans were being undermined—and that would not do.

I NEEDED A TRIP INTO NATURE.

My new plan was simpler, just drive to Gorman at the Grapevine and wander the Gorman Postal Road.  If flowers are in bloom in the area, they are usually there too.  It was a glorious afternoon.

California Poppy

“The earth laughs in flowers.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Spring is Nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!’”  Robin Williams

Lupine, One of My Favorites!

“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon the verdant green hills is the most perfect refreshment.”  Jane Austen

“An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.”  David Attenborough

Great Valley Phacelia

“Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to help protect and care for it.”  David Suzuki

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.”  John Muir

“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.”  Jules Renard

“I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”  John Burroughs

“When one tugs at a single thing in Nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”  John Muir

This little guy did not cooperate at all for photos.  The butterflies in the area never even paused anywhere!

“Nature is not a place to visit.  It is home.”  Gary Snyder

“The happiest man is he who has learned from Nature the lesson of worship.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Kern Tarweed (maybe)

“They are much to be pitied who have not been given a taste for Nature early in life.”  Jane Austen

I always love it when there is a nice spring breeze wandering the hills as well.  (Sorry I forgot to turn off the radio.  At least I am not singing along!)

CELEBRATE NATURE: Earth Day 2020

IT’S EARTH DAY’S 50th ANNIVERSARY TODAY

DO SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE!

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”  Rachel Carson

This year, with the pandemic making life scary and crazy, we need Nature more than ever. We need its beauty, variety, and solace. We also need to take time to value its many lessons:  patience, strength, hope, wonder, and spiritual connections.

Now more than ever, as we are asked to stay home and stay safe, it is important to find ways to keep Nature a part of our day to day lives. Play in your yard, walk in a garden or along a trail, feed the birds, play with pets, share flowers, plant vegetables.  You can even watch shows about Nature or work to help improve the protections for the Nature that is all around us, but that is too often overlooked.

One of the ways I am celebrating is by sharing some of my favorite Nature Photographs as I wait until I can take another Nature Trip.  I would love to head back to any of these wonderful places.

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’”   Sylvia Plath

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”  Lao Tzu

Views of Fall Color near Bishop, CA

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”  John Muir

Views of Yosemite National Park

“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

Views near Carrizo Plain National Park, CA

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”  Henry David Thoreau

Carmel Valley, CA

Drive through Redwoods, CA

“I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”  Vincent Van Gogh

Grand Tetons, WY

“My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.”  Claude Monet

Views near Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA

“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”   Hans Christian Anderson

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.  It will never fail you.”  Frank Lloyd Wright

Mono Lake, CA

Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Mt. Whitney, CA

Mt. Shasta, CA

Crater Lake National Park, OR

California State Poppy Preserve

Views of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

“We see God face to face every hour and know the savor of Nature.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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