Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Nature Nerd Wednesdays - Valentine Edition

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!

That Hallmark holiday that everyone loves to hate is only a few days away now.  Store shelves are filled with boxes of chocolate, Valentine cards, bouquets of red roses, and Sweetheart candy (does anyone actually like the flavor of those things??), and jewelry stores are in their element, advertising innumerable iterations of the same heart-shaped sparkly token for your sweetheart.

Store shelves are not the only places boasting heart-emblazoned items... there are hearts to be found in nature as well, and these are available year-round!  In fact, there are entire Pinterest boards dedicated to "Hearts in Nature". Although some of the photos look suspiciously photoshopped, they are fun to look through nonetheless.

This Wednesday, I wanted to share a beautiful photo of a heart in nature, found right here in Washington state in Olympic National Park.  Heart Lake, located along the 19-mile round-trip Seven Lakes Basin/High Divide trail is a quiet little lake resting placidly in a mountaintop basin, and is especially photogenic due to its unusual, but all-too-familiar shape:

Photo Source: The Wilderness Society
 The serenity in this photo is astounding.  The lake is located miles from civilization, deep in the wilderness. You can just picture yourself after a long hike sitting on the bank of this small lake and breathing in the pristine mountain air, watching the clouds drift by overhead and feeling the stillness and peace of the landscape seeping into your soul...

...and to us Nature Nerds, this sounds infinitely more appealing than trying to eat a box of stale, chalky heart candies with illegible sentiments sloppily printed on them... can I get an amen?!

Unfortunately, this hike is well out of my current hiking abilities and fitness level (bucket list!), and can't be reached this time of year anyway... but thank goodness for photos that everyone can enjoy year-round!

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