Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Nature Nerd Wednesdays

Welcome to Nature Nerd Wednesdays!  By the middle of the workweek, I know that I'm ready for a pick-me-up, for some inspiration -- and for that reason I decided to post a nature photo or quote each Wednesday.  Perusing works of nature writing and photography helps me reconnect with the calming, refreshing, and inspiring effects of nature, which is something we all can benefit from in the middle of a busy, stressful work week!

Welcome to the day before Thanksgiving! The holidays are officially upon us... actually, it seems as though they've been upon us for at least a few weeks now, as the holiday commercials, junk mail, advertisements, and garish red and green store displays have been with us for at least that long.  The holidays and the accompanying stress and frenzy they bring seem to be arriving earlier and earlier each year, thanks to the retailers that want us to begin Christmas shopping before we've even polished off the last of our Halloween candy.

One way to find respite from overwhelming holiday stress is to simply step outside. Look out the window. Go for a walk. Find a peaceful and serene scene in nature and drink it in.  Breathe in the fresh air and "unplug" from the Black Friday commercials blaring on the television, escape the frozen turkey floating in your bathtub and the bags of groceries demanding to be transformed into a feast for family and friends. 

I came across the photo below and chose it for this week's Nature Nerd Wednesday because of its beautiful simplicity and serenity - two qualities that can be difficult to come by this time of year!

"Sunlight" by Janez Tolar
Scenes like the one above are commonly seen this time of year, with early morning sun filtering through a faint layer of fog and illuminating the frosty landscape.  The stillness of the scene hangs heavy in the air as the frozen world is gradually thawed by thin winter sunlight.  I love this photo because it shows that even ordinary, everyday scenes can be awe-inspiring and calming when you take the time to appreciate them. Don't you feel refreshed already?

A brisk hike is hard to beat for its stress-busting (and Thanksgiving calorie-burning!) benefits.  For those of us in Washington State, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission highlights great hiking opportunities on their Adventure Awaits site, many of which are conveniently located close to the Puget Sound area.  I've already added several hikes to my list, and just the thought of getting out into the great outdoors has rejuvenated my spirit!

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