A Detour To Kinnikinnick Fen

Yesterday was a little cool but sunny so I took a detour to Kinnikinnick Fen after work. It was a short walk plus several minutes spent sifting through rocks and leaves on the beach as I listened for birds and frogs all around.

It was a delightful break from reality.

I pity people who don’t enjoy being outside or who don’t get to spend much time in nature. I feel more like myself in the quiet of nature – even if it is brief.

Wherever you are, I challenge you to get outside today. You’ll feel better. I promise.

Favorite Trees And Fading Sunset

We have enjoyed a long run of gorgeous fall days. That all ends today when it turns rainy and cooler. Tomorrow will be rainy and cold, ushering in what appears to be a long patch of cooler days and cold nights.

The rain isn’t so thrilling but it’s hard to get excited about the impending holidays when it’s 68 degrees and sunny. So I’m kind of excited to see the mercury drop and maybe stop being such a grinch. All the same, I took advantage of yesterday’s sunshine with a short walk after work at Kinnikinnick Fen near Chillicothe. I have favorite trees everywhere I go and the picture above shows one of them at the Fen.

When I came home last night, the western sky was aglow with the remnants of sunset. You can see in the silhouette that the trees have lost their leaves. These are some of my favorite trees here at home – with or without their foliage.

It was a remarkable end to the day and to this streak of fine fall days. Better pack your umbrella and put on those galoshes if you’re out and about today. You will need them!

Kinnikinnick Fen

Most people seem to use their lunch break to eat but I am not most people. If opportunity presents itself, I prefer to spend my free time doing something interesting.

Work took me to Ashville, Ohio yesterday. On the way back, I was passing the turn to Kinnikinnick Fen, a wetland owned by the Ross County Parks District. I was in dress pants but had some walking shoes in the car so I swung in for a quick look around. The trail here is flat and wide, perfect for a quiet conversation with a friend or for walking solo on a workday afternoon.

It’s shaded in some wooded places and exposed in others where the trail winds through open meadow.

It’s vividly green here.

As a southern Ohio native, I often take for granted my lush surroundings while my Wyoming friend practically cries at the sight of all our grass and trees. Poor rainfall in her high plains region creates tough growing conditions.

Consequently, I sometimes force myself to stop and appreciate how beautiful everything is. The variation in greens never fails to surprise me.

This is officially one of my favorite trees.

This shaded spot was cooler and the bird chatter was spectacular yesterday. Somewhere nearby I made friends with a dragonfly that accompanied me for part of the way.

This color really pops in that sea of green.

And the water looked so inviting I badly wanted to go wading. Wouldn’t that have been a hoot? Me kicking off my shoes and rolling up my dress pants to cool off?

I did have to resume my workday as a serious grown up in a matter of minutes so I refrained. Adulthood is when you have to be your own buzzkill.

Of course, there was this as well – a reminder to be happy. I can’t help but wonder if whoever left that behind has ever had to resist the urge to dip their toes in water on a hot summer afternoon. For their sake, I hope not.

Finally, I saw lots of interesting things on the ground including this leaf, colorful and in the shape of a heart.

When you go out for a walk – whether it is a hike through nature or a stroll around the block, be sure to look around. Study the ground and the sky in search of wonder. It is there if you open your eyes and your heart to seeing it.

I wrote about my first visit to this place back in May. Have a read if you like.

An Evening At Kinnikinnick Fen

Weeknight adventures are a rare treat but Monday evening found me standing in Kinnikinnick Fen. This 154 acre wetland along Kinnikinnick Creek is located near Chillicothe, Ohio. It’s only about 30 minutes from my home but this place felt like a lifetime away from the stressful world we live in.

The Ross County Park District owns the property and has developed a few miles of trails along with a some observation decks. When driving down the nearby busy road, you have no idea that there is a truly special place just beyond the tree line.

I stood in this spot pictured above and focused on my breathing. That’s all. I just breathed while I watched the late day sun begin to slip behind the trees. A faint breeze ruffled the spring foliage as I watched two red winged blackbirds take flight.

My companion knew just when to speak and when to be silent, a true gift for some of us introverts who often struggle with our noisy world.

Being outdoors is good for your mental health. It’s good for your body to be active and to breathe fresh air. It’s good for your soul to feel small in a big world that’s made special by fields of wildflowers and the distant drumming of a woodpecker or song of a goldfinch.

The mere memory lowers my blood pressure and provides me a sense of peace. I don’t know about you, but I need more weeknight adventures just like this.

Want to visit? Learn more about the incredible work being done by the Ross County Park District by visiting their website or follow them on Facebook. Better yet, go check out one of their many trails for yourself!