Now more than ever, it’s important to find ways to calm the mind and nourish the spirit. With all the continuing news of the Covid-19 virus and its devastating effects, it’s sometimes difficult to find that peace.
Exploring nature and recognizing the beauty around me has helped. A blogger I follow once commented something to the effect of (and I’m badly paraphrasing) if you find the joy in nature, joy will follow you wherever you go. I subscribe to that thought.
For me that means securely planting myself in the moment. Letting go of “what ifs” and truly seeing the spectacular beauty of nature. Not just beautiful scenery, but the true marvel of that tiny little wildflower or a small bee (Andrena mining bee shown in photo) with it’s legs festooned with pollen, or an unknown fly also enjoying the same flower.
On one of my walks, I found a fuzzy looking green plant which turned out to be Common Mullein, a non-native which is considered invasive in some areas of the United States. This plant is also known as “Cowboy toilet paper” among other things, though that’s not a recommended use! According to some things I’ve read, this plant was also used by Quakers (in days gone by) to brighten the cheeks of ladies when use of makeup was frowned upon.
This biennial plant can grow to 5 to 6 feet tall and produces rather beautiful little yellow flowers. The plant is also very prolific, sometimes producing as many as 175,000 seeds per plant. It loves disturbed areas, which is why it’s easy to see how it could be invasive.
And not to be outdone by plants, birds and ducks have been making their presence known this week. Mallards are what I expect to see, but I’ve also seen Buffleheads and Lesser Scaups, along with timid Wood Ducks camping out in trees.
A woodland walk helped bring a lot of things into perspective for me this week. There were so many things growing with the promise of Spring’s magnificent color. It reinforced the realization that some things haven’t changed and I don’t need to keep my “social distance” from them, thankfully!
I hope you have the opportunity to go for a walk soon. Take your time. Explore the things that are green and growing. Listen to the songs of birds anxious to find a partner and begin starting their new families. Find something unusual that attracts your attention and do a little research to learn more about it. Nature offers so many amazing things to explore.
Until next time, keep exploring nature up close.