“I will wait for you.”
I can only imagine the wonders that Buddy enjoys in the woods of Balsamea every day and night, with his great capacity for scent, hearing, and night vision.
When he stops in the trail to investigate something, I wait. It’s the least I can do for all the times he waits while I do things in my never-ending pursuit of amateur silviculture, naturalism, and trail tending. Come to think of it, he spends most of his time waiting for me.
There never has been and never will be a friend so patient, so tolerant, so forgiving, so playful, and so nice to pet. A good dog is medicine for mind and body. Cats, too. But you can’t take cats for a hike, and they’re generally not so big on tug-of-war and keep-away with a stick, in all seasons and all weather.
Another sample of Spring 2013 advancing.
One of our early ferns (May 6) did a little lifting on its way up. Balsamea never stops entertaining us.
The leaf was gone the next day, so my camera-play had been lucky, leaving me with a souvenir of mindful woods-walking.
That’s what most of my photos from Balsamea are about: just taking time to notice what is really there. It is a fun hobby to collect souvenirs to remember things, and to remind me to keep being mindful of them. It is good medicine to mind and body.
However, sometimes I make a point of leaving the camera home, to “bathe” in the essence of the forest just for the sake of doing it, taking a lesson from my canine partner, being there just to be there, belonging there.
But Buddy has learned to pause the walk on his own when he sees the camera come out of its case.
- The Healing Power of a Walk in the Woods (eartheasy.com) – some studies are developing ways to quantify the health benefits of forest walking, and to identify the reasons, such as plant emissions.
- Noticing: How to Take a Walk in the Woods – by Adam Frank, NPR (www.npr.org/blogs/13.7) – Some good ideas on getting more from a walk in the woods; ideas that I use all the time.
- Walking Through the Forest (bildebok.wordpress.com)
- Bathing With Mushrooms (gailkirkpatrick.wordpress.com) – a piece that introduces forest bathing (Japanese shinrin-ryoho or shinrin-yoku). Inspired in part by this article:
- Fernalicious Forest Fun (bildebok.wordpress.com)
- Creature of the Day: Ferns (joyfulrestoration.com)