What Nature does for Me

Nature helps me feel small. That’s a good thing. That’s what nature does for me.

When I’m at home, scrambling around trying to figure out what to make for supper, wondering if I have time to stop for gas in the morning, and worrying about getting, “it,” all done… I am clearly thinking that I have control.

When I go out into Nature, all those thoughts melt away. I look at the trees and wonder how old they are. I look at the ground and wonder who has gone here before me. I get on a ridge and try to take in the vastness. I realize it doesn’t matter what I made for supper last night. The trees grew without me, the snow fell without my permission, the sun came up today to greet all creatures big and small. In those moments I know I have little to no control. I have to be honest, that thought used to freak me out. Now I find that thought very liberating and calming.

ferns in the woods from What Nature Does for Me

Nature helps me be mindful and get out of my head

When I am walking through the woods, and there is no other being in sight, I look at the mushrooms growing on the forest floor and on the trees. I wonder why some grow on the ground and some on trees. That brings me to…

The all-time Best Mushroom Story…

We were hiking the Superior Hiking Trail and it was a very wet and drizzly day, but beautiful because many of the crimson leaves on the ground were wet and shiny, sort of Nature’s red carpet.

Nature’s red carpet

I was walking along and suddenly saw a wisp of, what appeared to be, smoke near my left boot. I thought that it must be a cigarette someone had flicked and it was still smoldering. That didn’t really make sense because we had not seen or heard a soul and the ground was wet and muddy, but I was going to put it out and pack out the butt.

I crouched down to find it, but was not having any success. Suddenly another poof of smoke wafted from the forest floor. What? Another one? Where are they?

By this time HB (Honey Bunny) asked me what I was doing / looking for. I told him, and he crouched down too. Right about then a raindrop fell through the trees and landed on a fallen log covered with mushrooms. The raindrop hit one of the mushrooms and a poof of spores was released. It was crazy amazing. It was one of the coolest things I had ever seen.  We both commented that if we hadn’t been in that spot at that moment and if the raindrop had been diverted by leaves, we would have never seen it. If I had been thinking about paying the electric bill when I got home, I would not have seen it. If I had not allowed myself to be opened up by Nature’s beauty, I would have been unimpressed. 

Check it out….


Snow on the Trail

A Photo Journey…

Lisa and I headed up to the Superior Hiking Trail again recently. Strangely enough, not a lot of weird things happened this time. It was such a wonderful day! There was a lot of snow on the trail and it was beautiful! Take a photo journey with us…..

Cool Bridge over the frozen Sucker River

Sucker River Trailhead

This was our starting point. Located about 5 miles inland from Highway 61 at mile marker 14.9.

Lots of snow!

Snow on the Trail

We had decided that the trail was packed down enough that we wouldn’t need snowshoes.

Campsite along the way
Always good to see the Superior Hiking Trail signs!
Just plain cool. The cycle of life.

Oops

Leaving the snowshoes behind ended up being a poor decision for some of the trail.

Somewhere in the middle of our journey the trail became less packed down and difficult to negotiate.
not sure which way to go with so much snow on the trail
Almost no trail at all here.
Or here.
These are cool!
We thought these wispy things were cool! Anyone know? Please leave us a comment below…. we are curious.
We had just noticed that the sun started to come out and play.

Sunshine!

We couldn’t believe how deeply blue the sky was when the clouds broke open and the sun shined!

Beautiful blue sky!

Evidence of life

We found some abandoned bird housing. We always find interesting things to see on the Trail.

Snow on the Trail and filling this abandoned bird nest
We felt sad until we realized that the former occupants were probably well south of here in much warmer weather!
They left behind a cool home though.

Almost done with this adventure

We wrapped up at the western end trailhead at Fox Farm Road

The trail had become much easier at this point
Snow on the Trail and piled on top of this stump
We just thought this was a little silly.
We don’t know who or what built this. Anyone know? Leave a comment below….

Thank you for coming along on our little journey! It was such a wonderful day. Other than gas in the car, it didn’t cost much of anything. We hope you are finding joy in whatever it is that you are doing!

Please comment below and let us know some of your tricks for having fun on a budget. Or, share your stories on our Your Voices page by clicking here.

Video

See the whole story here.

Another SHT Story

As a rule, not every single experience can be the best experience ever. This was one of those times.

As you’ve probably read in our earlier posts… Lisa and I have been trying to spend some time once a month or so, on the Superior Hiking Trail. This is another SHT story….

This month was no exception. We had a little more learning to do, however.

We had checked the SHT website for trail conditions. https://superiorhiking.org/trail-conditions/ It was going to be snowy and cold, as we should learn to expect, really. We certainly weren’t disappointed with how snowy and cold it was!

This is a very short post, but I needed to share it with you. Lisa and I are all about the bricolage experience, which basically means, to us, taking what we already have and making it work. When we were preparing for this outing, I dug a couple pairs of very old snowshoes out of the garage. One pair was completely unusable due to the deterioration that comes with 20 years of improper storage. The other pair we could make work. We ended up having to buy a pair to make the trip (insert sad face). Along with the snowshoes, we brought along a couple of pair of ski poles that have been in the basement for just as long.

shadows
Mission Creek

When we got to the trail, we realized that we were in for quite a day. The snow was about a foot deep with a 2-inch wind-blown crust on top. Just enough to make foot travel difficult. We punched through the crust and caught the edges of the snowshoes with nearly every step! Seven miles would prove to take all day!

Although the scenery is always beautiful on the SHT, we were getting somewhat frustrated after the first 4 hours when we weren’t even half-way to our finish line. Another 4 hours later, we were exhausted and, quite honestly, a bit crabby. I had parked the car in a location that made me worry all day about finding it towed away when we got back, the loud crunch of the crusty snow underfoot made conversation almost impossible, and the difficult terrain was wearing on our middle-aged legs! It was a departure from the usual singing and joking that we usually engage in.  

So, we took with us some old gear, some old experience from my mountain climbing days, and some old legs to get the job done. It was a very difficult day. But, we did it together. We saw some cool wildlife and took some cool photos. We also learned that, with perseverance (for an entire day!), we could do this and still walk away with a smile on our faces!

Cool trees
Woodpecker condo

As a rule, not every single experience can be the best experience ever. This was one of those times. But there are many more to come. What we learned on the trail that day, we will continue to use to make the most out of every adventure.

Oh!… And the car didn’t get towed. I was worried for nothing. (-:

We were, appropriately, not impressed

Thanks for reading my little tale…. Remember to subscribe for more silliness to come…. And, as always, we’d love to hear from you!  Grab whatcha got and let’s go!