Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Nature Nerd Wednesdays

Welcome to Nature Nerd Wednesdays, your mid-week nature break to reconnect with the calming, refreshing, and inspiring effects of nature. Take a deep breath and enjoy...

Rainy day hike to Blue Lake - one of my favorite hikes of 2015!
The last few days of December are often spent reflecting on the waning year now drawing to a close, with the sadness of the year's passing tempered by excitement for the coming new year and its memories and adventures yet to be realized.

Carrying on the tradition I started last year with the final Nature Nerd Wednesday post of 2014, in this final post of 2015, I'm taking a look back at the paths my feet wandered this year. With two excursions to alpine lakes (a new feat for me!), several hikes on alarmingly dusty trails thanks to the historic drought, and many other adventures in places both new and familiar, in 2015 I truly did travel deeper than my feet have ever wandered before.

Some of these photos may look alike... the typical Pacific Northwest forest of hemlock, Doug fir, western red cedar, sword fern and salmonberry... but each place is unique in its history, atmosphere, soundscape and smells. Each place offers a different experience of Pacific Northwest nature at its finest. Each place refreshes the mind, challenges the body, soothes the weary soul and fills the lungs with clean air. Each place is threatened by environmental issues like pollution and climate change. Each place needs protection and conservation.

There's a common perception that one needs to adventure into the far-flung wilderness to find nature, but this couldn't be further from the truth. You can find nature anywhere... State Parks, National Parks, city parks, walking trails, the office park courtyard, and even your own backyard.

In 2016, make a resolution to get outside and experience, enjoy, and protect these places!

Wallace Falls State Park - First Day Hike - January
Rockport State Park - February
Redmond Watershed Preserve - March
Saint Edward State Park - April
Cedar Butte - April
Redmond Watershed Preserve - May
Saint Edward State Park - July
Cedar River Watershed tour - August
Snow Lake - August
Cedar River Watershed - Forest Ecology class - September
Blue Lake - September
Redmond Watershed Preserve - November

What a year! Stay tuned to A Day Without Rain in 2016 for nature breaks every Wednesday, Going Green tips, and a few musings and wanderings in between.

Need plans for New Years Day? Start a new tradition and participate in a First Day Hike at a State Park! I'll be heading out to a State Park here in Washington to celebrate the first day of 2016. Check out the Washington State Parks website for details on all of the First Day Hikes.

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