Let's talk about Wild. Here. - local nature that you can access close to home!

In terms of my winter posts, I recently realized that I might be doing a disservice to those who are looking for Wild. Here. (local) ideas rather than being shown places to escape to from our cold drab urban cities.  Showing Palm Spring photos, talking about greening up your social media and researching other locations to visit!  I haven't really been talking about local nature opportunities. My apologies!!  (Yes - this is such a great conundrum - what IS there to do when the city seems cold and drab??  It's actually inspiring me in terms of a new post to write! What can we get from getting out during the grey times???)  

I have a friend who walks her dog daily and I was thinking yesterday about dog walkers - are they people who enjoy walking and seek out a furry companion for their activity or are they animal lovers who are now out daily - getting outside and around their neighbourhood, in a way they had never even planned.  Are they being converted to local nature appreciation by this new activity? (Don't worry, I do know it's a bit of an overthink!  Dog lovers first right?)

However my brilliant dog-walking friend also noted that colours stand out more prominently against a white backdrop - could it be the same for grey ones?  So definitely something to think about in terms of a new post!  Love that the inspiration just keeps coming!!  For now I just wanted to say that after the cold April morning, we had a sunny afternoon and I got out for a walk!

I hope you find your opportunities to get out and enjoy the wild that you find locally.  Here at Wild. Here.  we are all about the local wild - yes the wild here (not "there" outside the city) - the wonderful wild nature that you find right at your doorstep and/or a short walk, bus ride or drive away.  There definitely IS plenty of nature to be found right here in our cities!   So I'll share with you some photos from my walk last weekend and I hope you all get outside soon to enjoy your Wild. Here.  (Yes, even when the weather is not optimal and I'm going to remember that myself also.)

I am so lucky to have a plethora of natural spaces within walking distance - two ponds, a lake, a river, a wooded area, fields, trails and other park and park-like spaces.  We get to enjoy the view above (title photo) on some of our drives and I always feel so fortunate to be able to enjoy that scenic outlook.  Our small pond offers the only local beach so it is another fun place to visit in all seasons.

There is a dedicated group of volunteers that help control invasive species in this small conservation area and visitors get to enjoy both lakeside views and views from higher up (on the other side of the lake).

I took a few videos of this location also - love hearing the Red-Wing Blackbird calls (you can see one (the black dot in the photo here) hanging out on the dead marsh reeds) - such a super reminder of spring (but hoping that they find enough nourishment with them coming back early this year - strange climate change effects!) - birds migrate due to sunlight changes but insects hatch depending on weather temperature (read more here).

Possible beaver or muskrat activity - creating canals through the marsh reeds - ice cover still on the lake.

What do you do during these in between months, 
when it's still cold but you can't enjoy your outdoor winter activities?

Or if you are not a winter person, how do you connect to nature after a long winter - do sunny days matter?

Where do you get your local nature fix on grey days?

Let us know!

Really enjoyed this part of the walk under these conifer trees - sometimes the smell of them brings me back to days of camping!  Such beautiful boughs to walk under no matter what season!

And I'll get back to you on that grey day post soon!  ;  )
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My Wild. Here. City Tour Urban Nature Wish List (Day Tripping + Weekend visits from Ottawa)

Urban Nature Street Trees Ottawa Canada

As the blustery April winds blow and the cold front continues, it's that strange weather where I feel self-conscious dressing for winter when the ground is bare and grey, so rather than venture out I'm holing up inside this morning and thinking about my Urban Nature Bucket List for travel destinations beyond Ottawa.  Here's a few to start with:

Cornwall, Ontario

This should be an easy one for me as it's only an hour's drive.  I read about Lamoureux Park's Eco Garden years ago and am curious to see how the park is doing now, since the article was written five years ago.  Located along the shoreline of the St. Laurence River, rock reefs were built along the river to create protected areas for fish to forage and nurse.  It also includes a small creek that provides alternating shallow riffle areas and deeper pools is home to spawning chinook salmon and cutlip minnow.   And although I haven't read anything about Guindon Park it looks like it has some paths and wilder spaces.

Montreal, Quebec 

This is one of our favourite cities to visit for a day trip from Ottawa and as mentioned before we always gravitate to Mont Royal for a slice of nature when we go for a visit.  We've been here before but it's still on my wish list (always) because there are so many places in this city to explore including: Jardin Roerich (a.k.a. Maguire Meadow and/or Champs de Possibles) which is such an inspiring urban nature space, the Green Alleys of the city (which I'd love to spend an afternoon wandering through) and of course the foodie in me wants to finally try ricotta gelato and visit the outdoor terrasse of Montreal SAT's Foodlab.


Last summer we got rerouted off of the 403 and found ourselves driving along Plains Road West and York Boulevard and I was smitten by the views from our car of the Royal Botanical Gardens.  Wow!  I've definitely heard of the RBG before but just had no idea.  When I started thinking about what else I'd like to see in the area, I was pleasantly surprised to see three projects that I had bookmarked happening around the city including Cootes Paradise by McMaster University (Parking Lot M), a tall grass prairie project and a new habitat for Bobolink in the Upper Ottawa neighbourhood.  I'm also curious about the Escarpment area and think Highlands Garden Park would be a great spot to check out!

Stay tuned for more - including a guest post from a friend who's visited one of my "must" urban nature experience cities in the United States!  Lucky man!

What about you?  Do you ever consider travel destinations based on natural tourist areas?  

What are your top ones currently?  

Where do you want to explore?

p.s. and yay I got out in the afternoon once the temperature got warmer!
Puddlegram in Ottawa Tree Reflection in Melting Snow Nature Connection

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Vancouver's Urban Wildlife through the lens of a Videographer and Photographer (Guest Post)

I'm really thrilled today to have a guest post by Kate Paton who is an amazing photographer and videographer from the West Coast.  I can't remember exactly how I found Kate Paton's Twitter account but I'm so glad I did!  Her Twitter feed was full of such superb photos of both the beautiful landscape of the west coast and also of all the wildlife - especially birds - that she was discovering right near her home.  I couldn't believe all the urban wildlife that she was documenting!  But it's really no surprise with Vancouver offering such great greenspaces and parks and with it being located right in between the ocean and mountains.  Kate has been capturing all this biodiversity (such incredible close-ups, such rich details of animal behaviour) with her camera and more recently she's been sharing videos also!  You are going to want to check out her social media feeds as they are full of an amazing variety of birds, mammals and other sweet creatures along with great mountain landscapes and ocean views - links are provided below.  

Here's Kate to share with us her passion of nature:

Vancouver's Urban Wildlife through the lens of a Videographer and Photographer

My name’s Kate Paton - I’m a New Zealand citizen, born and grew up in Zimbabwe, now living in beautiful Vancouver BC Canada.

Walking in nature and wildlife watching here in urban Vancouver has become a daily part of my life (weather permitting) since arriving here five years ago and struggling to find work - it’s an instant cure for depression and is so good for ones soul and body! Fresh air and exercise and watching the wonders of wildlife always restores my soul!  Vancouver has many regional parks and nature park and reserves - with abundant wildlife! It’s a great free way to enjoy ones day!

Springtime is very rewarding - here are some videos from last year - as, at the moment, I’m busy watching nests and waiting for all the babies to hatch or be born - and as an ethical birder I try to keep current nesting birds and their locations off my social media until they have safely fledged!

You can imagine my delight from watching tiny Rufous hummingbirds in their nest:

To watching coyote pups jump and play in a sunny grassy field:

In holes in some dead trees you can often see tiny nesting birds like the lovely Bewick's Wren:

And the beauty of a young Cooper’s hawk is just so delightful:

And how can you not laugh at these gorgeous baby great horned owls trying to get a bearing on me by swivelling their heads - too adorable!

My first love, of course, here in BC Canada is the bald eagle and watching these incredible raptors is a big part of my life - their beauty, their resilience and awe inspiring lust of life just takes my breath away! Here are juvenile bald eagles learning to fly:

Not all my videos and photos are pretty - I try to be aware of the protection and conservation of our natural resources and pick up litter when I can - and document the mess humans make which can be very sad when it adversely affects our wildlife!

These are just a few of my observations - I post my daily videos (when possible) on Instagram, YouTube, TwitterFacebook and Vero - please feel free to watch and follow me or subscribe!

Kate Paton, known as "Pacificnorthwestkate" on her social media accounts, is a wildlife, nature and scenic photographer and videographer in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  To make sure you don't miss a thing - subscribe to her You Tube channel: Pacificnorthwestkate and follow her on social media as she continues to document the amazing wildlife in and around Vancouver.

P.S. Want More Vancouver?  Read about a recent visit to Vancouver here.
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How to Immerse your Social Media Feed with Nature

social media addiction mindfulness for nature lovers

Within the recent buzz of the failure of social media (again) to protect our needs (ban #fakenews) and privacy, many people are wondering what to do.  Maybe the answer IS to #deletefacebook and other social media?  Maybe the answer is just to have a social media break or to limit screen time?  Ultimately what we need to be asking is how is our own personal relationship with social media?  

For most it seems to be a love/hate type of situation, for others it's their bread and butter.  Social media can be addictive, there are always the questions of what is happening with our data and at the end of the day people need more downtime away from screens rather than more reasons to continue to be on screens.  But if we can use social media as TOOL there can be many benefits.

One great way to inspire yourself to get outside and explore your local city's natural areas is to add more nature to your social media feeds.  
Perhaps you just want to refresh your feed with a few more positive images and messages or perhaps you need a clean break from spammy messages and accounts that don't make you feel positive?  Now is your opportunity to improve what is being fed to you via these small screens.

Whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or the new kid on the block: Vero, seeing stories and images about wildlife and nature can have a positive impact on you and on your day.  And if you follow local people (especially on Instagram which shows locational tags) you may even get some ideas of specific new greenspaces to check out!  And yes, the more green you see (even on the screen) can give you a boost and can really get you interested in the outdoors.  Here's how to go about it in the best, most mindful way:

Immerse your Social Media Feed with Nature by following great organizations

Follow some great organizations on social media:

  • Nature, Wildlife & Scientific Organizations - look for various ones at the local, regional and national levels
  • Tourism Boards and Groups - you could follow both local organizations and also places you'd like to visit in the future
  • Non-profits that are doing positive things and great projects in the green spaces of your city that can bring a smile to your day
When you follow these groups look for both green visuals (especially on Twitter or Instagram if you look at this feed from your phone) and educational content (especially on Twitter or Fbook) as this could be an easy way to get tips and interesting facts about wildlife.

You can look up key words and hashtags such as #nature #wildlife #plantatree #urbanbiodiversity #rivercleanup and see what what organizations appear and then check out their feed history to see what types of things they post.  You can even do this search visually on Twitter by selecting "Photos" or "Videos" as shown above.

You can also see who's posting for special international days like #WorldWaterDay or #ForestDay or #EarthDay or special months like #NationalAboriginalHistoryMonth by searching through these hashtag feeds to connect to like-minded groups.

Girl Unwinding Dawns Ray Flickr Nature Mandalas

Find creative inspiration on Twitter, Instagram and Vero:

  • landscape painters and outdoor nature artists
  • outdoor photographers
  • authors and writers of both fiction and non-fiction
  • artisans and crafters who get inspiration from the outdoors
  • Facebook nature groups
These people can also be found through similar keywords and hashtags that were listed above and on Instagram you can even "follow" favourite hashtags now!  If you are a lover of words and books, choose some that share nature quotes (just use the #naturequote hashtag) or who provide a word of the day like Robert Marcfarlane (Twitter: @RobGMacfarlane)

On Facebook you may find groups who are doing creative things to connect to nature.  Here's a list of what I found recently when I searched with key words (Nature, Wildlife, etc): Learning & Healing in NatureDance to Nature and In Love with Nature (photography sharing group)

See if you can find people and groups who are doing inspiring work and projects that they consistently share whether it's paintings, specific photography (like landscapes or sunsets) or a creative challenge such as making a nature mandala every week.  One that I really miss is DawnsRays' Monday Mandalas found through her Girl Unwinding blog that she shared on Flickr.

Above collage of images from DawnsRays on Flickr

Add Nature and Wildlife to your Social Media Feed

Give a social media thumbs up and follow some businesses:

  • green roofs & green walls
  • great native plant landscapers
  • wildlife/birding/outdoor merchandise
Here again you can quickly scan through the companies feed history to see what types of posts they share.  See what the balance is like between promotion and community sharing.  It might take awhile to find ones that truly resonate for you whether it's great images or great content but these companies are out there and are a joy to connect with!

Some businesses make it part of their business to share educational information with their passionate customers, such as Wild Birds Unlimited (Twitter) or Miriam from Wildflower Farm (Instagram) and others like sharing details on both behind the scenes and finished projects Ecoman Toronto (Facebook).  You'll benefit from the images of lush gardens, flowers in bloom and green roofs and walls!

Image: Movimento90 Instagram account

Follow the Right People on Social Media for Positive Experience Nature and Animal Lovers Wildlife

Follow other nature-lovers & fun nature personalities:

Another great opportunity is to find like-minded people and follow their personal social media accounts.  You can also look for personalities and animals with their own social media feed that add some fun to your day.  I really enjoy Gary Snail, Russell Crow and more recently Woody and Herbie Hedgehog!

One way to find people is through hashtags as per above but another is to join in on a challenge such as the Wildlife Trusts' 30 Days Wild (U.K.) or David Suzuki Foundation's 30 x 30 Challenge (Canada/U.S.) or Remember the Wild (Australia) - shown above - and see who else is participating.  Or look for #100dayproject or #citynaturechallenge and follow what you find interesting.

Another option is to find other urban nature lovers who may be in your city.  This can be done for any social media with hashtags (Read about the basics here in this Instagram #UrbanNature Hashtag post) but with Instagram it can also be done with geotags.  You'll see the location beside the under the name of the person.  It's an option, not every photo shared on Instagram will have the location tag but if you search for a location under "Places" you'll find the ones that have been geotagged.
Great Ottawa Nature Instagram Feed Yow_Vil

You can even search for your favourite type of flora or fauna and see what people are posting about it!  That's how I found Annette at Moss World (Twitter).  And even though I'm in Canada, I love seeing hedgehogs so that's one of the tags I'm following.  There was even a great series on lichen last year (#150lichen) that was done by Troy McMullin.

Try these fun tags: #birdsonawire, #puddlegram, #crackplants, #urbanwildlife, #naturescolours

See if you can find people that inspire you to get outdoors and seek out similar experiences rather than ones that might make you feel less (due to comparison) or make you feel like you are missing out on something.  The best ones to follow are those that feel like instant friends rather than those that you wish you could be friends with.

ONE LAST THING which is important to remember when using social media...

...you may want to control the number of accounts & groups that you follow that share mostly doom and gloom about nature as it can have a negative effect on you and have you worrying too much about the future.  I'm not advocating putting your head in the sand, but do try and manage these types of messages to ensure you have a balanced outlook.  For those you want to follow but may not want to see daily put them in a special "List" on Twitter that you check occasionally to stay informed or limit your interaction with these groups to emails that are sent to a specific folder where you can spend one hour a week, signing petitions or galvanizing yourself to take local action!

There is a lot of good news out there, even in terms of nature.  Keep a balanced outlook by following Good News Network via your social media feeds (check these tags: nature, wildlife) or read Jane Goodall's book that provides some great positive stories about nature:
"Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink"  by J. Goodall (Author),‎ G. Hudson (Author),‎ T. Maynard (Author), 2009.

To start you off consider connecting with these groups that have been profiled in past blog posts:

- Three Toronto Nature (Urban Wild) Initiatives

- Connect to Wild Homes (London, U.K.) and Other Creative Projects like this!

- Consider follow Nature Podcasts via their social media feeds

- Learn more about nature through these Canadian organizations

* * *

If you are interested in learning more about how to mindfully connect with nature through social media sign up below.  This will be a 4-week online course, offered in its first iteration for $33.   Let us know if this is of interest to you and we'll notify you when it launches!

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Palm Springs: Outside the City - Big Morongo Canyon Preserve - Part 2

As mentioned in Part One of my blog post on Big Morongo Canyon Preserve - I would love to see this greenspace in different seasons.  We were here during the winter months and while you could see the slight changes of things coming back into bloom the preserve was in a very dry winter state.  There is a boardwalk for many parts of this preserve and it must be very different during the wetter spring and early summer months.  As mentioned in my first post, the Friends of the Preserve offer different types of tours including free bird tours which are great (for those who want to get up early!).  There are various lengths of looped trails that offer hiking in various terrain and there is information on the difficulty of the various paths.  

If you like walking in nature, I'd definitely recommend it and if you can afford to donate - this is definitely a worthwhile organization as the "Friends of BMCP" offer lots of public events and educational opportunities.  Big Morongo was designated as an "Area of Critical Environment Concern" in recognition of its special values.  It's really a lovely place!  Find out more here:

A Great Day Trip from Palm Spring for Tourists Wild. Here.

Fun with new Camera - Tips for Photographers Wild. Here.
-- My first (blurry) picture of a Hummingbird! --

Canyon Walk in Palm Springs Best Nature Spot
-- Down into the Canyon --

Great Shot with Telephoto Lens Birding with A Camera Wild. Here.
 -- Is this a Stellar Jay?  Wow - my first! --

Best Photo Spots in Palm Springs - Nature Photography
-- Wow!  Is this a Kestral?!?! --

Lots of Walking Paths in Greenspace outside Palm Springs California
-- Boardwalk through the Preserve --

Tropical Trees for my Winter Vacation Canada
-- I'm not used to seeing Palm Trees mixed with Aspen --

Blue Sky, Winter Trees and Nature Connection
-- Beautiful Aspen --

Some Green even in Winter in Palm Springs
-- Colourful Missletoe --

Macro Shots for Nature Photographers Wild. Here.

See More of our Palm Springs Trip here: 

- Seeking Winter Desert Warmth in Palm Springs
- The (Urban) Birds of Palm Springs 2018
- Two Gardens of Palm Springs: Cacti & Drought Resistant Plants
- The Flora & Fauna outside (and above) the Palm Springs area!

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Palm Springs: Outside the City - Big Morongo Canyon Preserve - Part 1

Viliam and I went to Palm Springs this January and we were able to visit quite a few amazing locations.  We were able to see some incredible flora (the winter colours - oh my!) and lots of overwintering birds and two lovely drought-tolerant gardens and even some elevated and desert locations outside the urban area of Palm Springs.  One other favourite place that we checked out one morning was Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and it was worth the drive!

If I lived in the Palm Springs area I would definitely visit the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve regularly.  It would be lovely to see it change through the seasons and to see what type of wildlife you could spot at different times of the year (especially different birds!).  Even though it felt like I was struggling to actually spot and correctly identify the birds, it was still fun to realize that there were many around - even if they were hiding in the bushes and scrubby areas.  :  )

I took lots of photos so I've had to split them up in two posts.  Here's what we saw:

Western Flyway Migrating Birds Birding novice
-- Wow - a bird in the parking lot right when we arrived! --

beautiful natural scenery near palm springs vacation 2018
-- The landscape as we drove in - so lovely! --

Macro Photography Great Example Wild. Here.
-- I saw these unique blooms along the driveway --

Vacation in Palm Springs Best Tourist Spots
-- I just love this type of landscape! --

Canadian Winter Vacation to Palm Springs - Best Spot
-- Another bird but this time the sun is at the wrong angle! --

Free Bird Tour in Palm Springs Winter Migration
-- Beautiful Entryway and Display of all the types of Creatures in the Preserve --

California Desert Spring Tree Blooms
-- As we walked down the trail I heard this buzzing in the trees... so many insects attracted to these new blooms - willow I think! --

Great Spot to See Birds in Palm Springs Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
-- And then I got an even nicer treat as I saw some birds in nearby branches eating the buds... (yes my advice is to stop and listen and slow your walk down, you will probably see more!) --

Beginner Birding in Palm Springs Wild. Here.
-- Here's another of the same bird resting --

Bad Bird Shots Photography isn't always Easy Wild. Here.
-- And there were other birds hiding in the bushes that didn't want to pose for pictures! --

See More of our Palm Springs Trip here: 

- Seeking Winter Desert Warmth in Palm Springs
The (Urban) Birds of Palm Springs 2018
Two Gardens of Palm Springs: Cacti & Drought Resistant Plants
- The Flora & Fauna outside (and above) the Palm Springs area!

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How to QUADRUPLE up on the benefits of Nature

getting out in nature Ottawa fun activity wild here

I spent a whole morning last week adding "new" locations to my online city map: greenspaces I want to visit, locations that could be great for photography walks and natural areas that can be enjoyed at different speeds.  That to me is a morning well spent as someone coming from an urban planning background (read: someone who loves cities) and who has more recently coupled that passion with her love of outdoors.  Cities to me are great places to explore nature and they offer up such a myriad of varied terrain and cool locations and surprising finds.  Ottawa is a city of 1.25 million with an area of 2,779 km² and I'm constantly surprised with all the locations STILL to check out!

Nature Connection for Adults Nearby Nature Wild Here

How big is your city?  

Are there places that you still want to explore?

Who can you invite to join you?

forest bathing ottawa Forest Walk Ottawa

One of the joys of looking at maps for me is playing between the aerial (satellite) view and the map view seeing if I can find trails that offer opportunities to explore greenspaces.  The Map view is great because it highlights many of these natural spaces in green and then the Aerial view helps me confirm if it's an open or forested space.  Switching between the two at a low scale (1:200) is my next step, as it reveals if there are trails and where the access from the street to the trails are located.  Then I'll use Street View to find the entry to these parks and wild spaces!  (Read more about finding new spots in the Wild. Here. Explore posts.)

It's a joy for me to visit new places and I'm extremely lucky to have a partner who likes to join in!  If not a partner, perhaps a friend or family member of yours would like to join or you could go with an outdoor or naturalist club to a location you've been hoping to check out!  And last week after exploring my map, I had a new location to suggest and we went out that afternoon.  We got to explore a few trails, take in a lovely winter landscape, spot some fun birds and even say hi to a local dog walking group.  And the sun came out just at the end of our walk - perfect ending!  After that day I got to thinking about how doing this type of nature exploring activity with a friend can truly benefit people in a multitude of ways!

Ottawa Nature Outing Best Nature Spot Wild Here
-- The sun and blue skies revealed themselves right at the end of our walk --

Benefits of Being Out In Nature

You may have heard about all the benefits that you can get from being out in nature.  And it doesn't have to be pristine nature (that you can only find by driving out of the city by car) that gives you these benefits!  It can be a tree-lined street, a small wooded area, a path along a river or even a green vista!  (Consider these 10 free Nature "treats" the next time you want to get your dose of "Vitamin N" in the city.)  These nature benefits include: stress reduction, feeling positive, lowering anxiety, increase in healing and added energy to name a few!  And you can benefit from nature in as little as one minute!  Yes, one minute - I kid you not!

Forest Walk with a Friend - Great for Loneliness - Nature Connection
-- Two friendly conifers trees --

Benefits of Doing an Activity with a Friend

Did you know that connecting with friends actually helps you stay healthy also?  By providing you with caring connections and helping stave off loneliness (NY Times Article), friends can be an important part of our "health" routine.  Yes!  The newest prescription from your doctor may be "call a friend"!  So the opportunity of going out to explore a new greenspace or park in the city with a friend will give you this second "friendship" health boost.  Friends help you feel heard, can increase your enjoyment of an activity and help you feel connected to your community.  And friendships may even save the world! (Huff Post - Shasta Nelson)

Great to be Active in Nature Ottawa Urban Wild
-- Active Woodpecker Seeking Something to Snack On --

Benefits of Being Active

Getting out and walking in nature is an easy way to add a bit of movement to your day.  None of us need to be told that movement is something we should include in our daily activities!  (American Heart Association) And a walk in a local greenspace is an easy way to get our daily exercise.  You don't need special equipment (although you may need a change of shoes!) and it's an activity that many people can do.  Find a park that provides benches or picnic tables if you know that you will want a rest at some point.  Or if you like more active workouts like running or cycling - mix up your gym routine and do these outdoors with a friend!

Try something New - Get Out In Nature Ottawa
-- Katherine practicing a new skill - macro shots --

Benefits of Doing Something New

Finally, beyond the physical and mental and social benefits, another benefit in getting outdoors and exploring a new space with a friend is doing something NEW.  Novelty is something that can benefit all of us and if you are the type of person that enjoys exploring a new place this is an easy way to add Novelty in your life.  Not only does novelty give your brain a workout but it also can make you happier and stimulate creativity  It can also make your evening or weekend feel longer.

Who doesn't want more of that?

What do you think?  Do you enjoy exploring new greenspaces in your city?

Are you excited about the benefits of getting out with a friend to explore a new greenspace?

Nature Benefits for Creatives - Patterns Urban Wild

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Palm Springs Wildlife in Elevated and Desert Locations

I love nature and that includes both flora and fauna - I don't think I could ever choose and narrow down my interests to just birds or trees or anything specific.  And it's always great to be able to go out to any green space.  I wanted to share some of the things we saw outside of the urban area of Palm Springs because I'm guessing you like nature also!

We drove through Joshua Tree Park and it offered incredible landscapes and vistas.  You must check out Viliam's photos here: Yow_Vil Instagram: Jan 21 - Feb 25 and at Flickr (_Vee_).  In terms of wildlife we found some sweet prairie dogs, a few lizards and some other creatures.  We also went up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the top of San Jacinto and I wish we had more time to hike around the park there but we did get to take some great photos at sunset.  Another stop was to Big Morongo Canyon Preserve - I'll be posting those photos next week!

Trail sign to Lost Palms Oasis
-- Beautiful desert vistas in Joshua Tree National Park --

Orange and Green Lichen in Desert
-- Colourful lichen that caught my eye --

ground squirrel on a rock
-- Friendly Ground Squirrels -- 

lizard on rock
-- Very small Lizard Basking on a Rock -- 

View of Cacti in Joshua Tree Park
 -- Cholla Cactus Garden --

Close Up of Fly on Cactus
-- Insects on Cactus -- 

Silhouette of Raven in Tree
-- Raven close to the Southern Entrance of the Park --

Coachella Valley
-- Lovely view of Coachella Valley during decent back into Palm Springs --

View from top of San Jacinto Palm Springs
-- The top of San Jacinto --

Bird on San Jacinto
-- Found a Junco taking in the view on top of San Jacinto --

-- Close-up of Dark-eyed Junco --

sunny view of trail down into San Jacinto State park
-- Back side of Aerial Tramway Building looking down into San Jacinto Park --


Joshua Tree National Park (WildlifeLichens, Cholla Cactus Garden)
Mount San Jacinto State Park (Things to Do, Birds of the Park)

Let us know if you have visited Palms Springs and what you liked the best?

If you haven't gone but want to - what do you want to see?

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