Turning 60 is a LOT of WORK!! Yup, it's official, I'm starting a new decade. But as my sister said, "you'll always be the youngest!" Thank God for small mercies :) During the month of May I did a "nature challenge", spending a minimum of 30 minutes for 30 consecutive days "in nature." My chosen spot is called Kilally Meadows and has become a very magical place for me. Watching the daily changes was fascinating as was the weather! I experienced everything from snow, strong winds to sultry humid days of +30c!!
(I've started another challenge for the month of June - more on that in my next post! I might also show you some photos from my 60th birthday party if you're nice!)
I watched as trees came into bud, then blossomed into flowers - white, yellow and pink. In the past week the tropical weather has caused the vegetation to grow at least 2 feet! Trails are getting narrower as the plants fight for space.
One thing I came to appreciate about the forest is nothing really dies. A fallen tree (above) becomes a fertile environment for fungus, new plant life, birds and animals. Nothing is wasted.
I loved watching the "greening" of the area as first grass started to grow, trees unfurled their leaves and bushes and wild flowers sprang up literally overnight! When I started going to Kilally there was no colour at all - now I am overwhelmed with it all!
One of my next purchases will be books about wildlife and plant life in Ontario - I've learned a few new names of birds etc but there is so much to learn! I took a friend out with me about a week and a half ago - she said "I love how you talk to the plants!" I didn't even realize I did! Am I senile? I prefer to think I've "connected" with nature. I greet the birds and the rabbits and the toads and I tell the flowers how beautiful they are. It's spontaneous - I can't help myself.
Every day over the 30+ days spent in nature I wondered if I would see anything new - and I always did. Even on the final day I saw a swallowtail butterfly that I'd never seen before.
I continue to find new areas to explore, new birds, new plants. The diversity is astounding.
I would definitely recommend this challenge to everyone! Nature has a calming effect on the brain and I can say, without question, that I feel happier, more grounded (pun intended!) At one point I thought there were no ferns as I had observed for weeks and saw nary a one...until one day...a small treasure trove.
I have a couple photos left to share for today - you may have seen them already if you're a friend on Facebook. When I was young my connection to nature was something I took for granted. I'm glad I've come full circle and have become reacquainted. It's the best thing we've got!!
|Jane hanging out in the lilac tree :)|
|An even younger Jane hanging out in the same tree.|