My Weekly Dose of Wild (2015): enjoy a good soak of green


A forest walk.

Every city should offer a nice large forest with wide compact paths for long leisurely strolls.  Paths for jogging, walking, exploring, wheeling and maybe even bathing.  Forest bathing that is.

What an ultimate relief for a mid-summer warm day to be able to enjoy the cooling climes of a shaded green space.  A great place to find relief from the direct sun rays but somewhere you can still enjoy speckled light that uplifts and illuminates.  An incredible benefit in denser urban areas where concrete and impervious surfaces can increase city temperatures and make a city feel like someplace you want to escape.

But not if you have an urban forest nearby.

Forest-bathing, or Shinrin-Yoku which is a Japanese term, makes me think of sinking into a soothing atmosphere of calm in a wooded area... of soaking up the relaxing scents and sights of lush verdant foliage, repeating patterns in nature and soft dappled sun on forest floors.  It makes so much sense that you can soak up nature in a forest.  In urban areas it has to be deep enough that you can't hear or see roads and vehicles and that you can truly immerse yourself in this wooded nature sensation.  Close the door and have your bath in nature.  A forest scent, especially pine, is a huge boost: so breathe in deeply!

I recall being at a nature walk in one town where they had a "Friends Of" organization helping to manage a local forest and one of the women there said that her daily forest walk was her alternative to coming home after work and turning on the tv - unplugging from the daily grind.  When I heard that, I thought how amazing an idea that was - how great it would be to be able to have an opportunity to reconnect with nature after being in the office and in traffic rush hour during the day.  Another woman's twitter feed shows her amazing "daily commute" which is a ravine walk that is accessible in the central core of a large Canadian city.  Unsurprisingly she has a large twitter following.  Even the visuals of green spaces can be a boost for those who see a lot of grey (concrete, roads, buildings, etc.).

This forest that I took pictures of last weekend is a bit of drive but is probably one of the largest accessible wooded areas within the city and it has multiple paths offering different opportunities to explore.  There was a cedar grove, the plantation of conifers pictured below, areas with dense ferns and great signage to help guide your direction.  And even though it is still May, it was a surprisingly hot day that demonstrated the shaded relief that trees can provide and how this multiplies with the number of trees in the area.  Trees, trees, wonderful trees.

Get out for your forest soak today!

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