My Weekly Dose of Wild (2015): making the most out of above zero climes


it was a cold february.  march has fluctuated so much that it's been hard to pin this harried month down - to get it to commit to a nice, sunny, mild day that felt like a genuine invitation out.

it's now three days before april.

the saturday shocked me with its negative numbers (while teasing with its sun).

but today we got out.
exposure to nature is being talked about by so many people and organizations now.  it's in the media - how we can all benefit from being outside, enjoying some green r&r.  there's suggestions for "walking meetings", nature prescriptions and/or 30 minutes/day challenges. i loved nature as a child - so why isn't it enticing me outdoors anymore? 
am i too busy, too distracted?  is my home too cozy or am i too lazy? is it too cold, hot, windy, bothersome to go outdoors?  does outdoors feel too far to me? 
and once i'm out there, do I fall flat in terms of ideas of what to do? 
some people like being active outside.  some want to study it.  some find it a great place to stroll or take photos.  some people enjoy passive outdoors activities or bring their hobby outdoors. 
so what is nature to me?
today we got out.  after lunch we put on our boots and jackets and went to check out a trail tucked behind the museum, along the river.  i know dog walkers bring their pets there.  we have seen a couple of cars parked at the bend each time we go by.  it wasn't windy when i checked outside just before we got in the car but once we were on the trail, the wind picked up a couple of times.  but the sun was out and it was above zero.  i wore a couple of layers but no toque.  walking beside the river gave us a great vista with the expansive sheet of ice that stretched to the other side.  the world was still white.  and while the trail was well used by many people, packed down through the winter, there was no one else as we checked out this wooded spot.

what a fun mini-adventure we had today.  we explored a location that we'd never been to before.  we were impressed by the size of this urban site - we spent an hour walking around and we found a varied terrain which was surprising for this area.  we even found a feeding spot where visitors leave seed and suet for the birds.  what a great place for photos that included chickadees, woodpeckers, nuthatches and some squirrels.  once we got off the main trail, we were sheltered by the woods which was made up of various aspen, some birch and some hard wood.  as we walked through the woods I kept wondering what these paths would be like in the summer with all the green growing up and tangling our views.  it's definitely on my list now for a second visit and i was happy to see that it was marked as "valued natural (urban) habitat" on local government maps.

fresh air, some friendly birds (chick-a-dee-dee-dee) that made us smile, a few new discoveries, some rays of sun and a stop at the local cafe for a warm drink and treat after.

a perfect sunday afternoon.

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