A Bumper Crop

If anyone out there is in the market for poison ivy, honeysuckle or a nameless ground covering vine that will ruin your life, I have a bumper crop of them all growing right here in my yard.

After years of outright neglect, I woke up one day earlier this month and decided that I would finally transform my beds of invasive plants and weeds into something that can actually hold flowers.

So far, I’m about thirteen hours in and still going strong. I’m basically digging out everything and setting aside the plants I want to keep for easier access to the junk. Once a section is cleared, I go back to replant the things that stay. So it’s literally a few feet forward and a couple of feet backward.

The above pictured yard cart has been tamped down and piled high so many times, I lost track of the loads of debris carried off so far.

Surprisingly, I haven’t run out of steam or interest. It seems that this kind of physical labor has been good for my mind since all that digging, raking and tugging is good for working out aggression.

So, I come in filthy, tired and sore, popping a Tylenol on the way to the shower every evening. Plus, I have a sense of accomplishment as I fall into bed. That’s kind of neat too.

There’s something about ending your day covered in dirt to make you feel accomplished and better connected to the earth.

Lake Katherine In Spring

Lake Katherine State Nature Preserve has become one of my favorite places on earth. I had hiked there a few times over the years but it was always in the dead of winter or on sweltering Indian Summer days and always with someone else.

Last year I had a chance to explore solo and saw the place with new eyes.

The trails aren’t too long or too difficult for most hikers. But you can piece together a few trails for a longer experience. Each of them offers something outstanding to enjoy.

I stopped by after work one night earlier this month and was struck by how beautiful it is everywhere you turn. I was a little sad that I didn’t pack my camera that day because I saw a ton of birds, butterflies and dragonflies that my iPhone simply couldn’t manage. One dragonfly seemed to stick with me, providing unexpected company for several minutes.

It was a delightful end to a work day and much needed respite from life’s chaos. We all need that sometimes, don’t we? Remember this- there’s not much that can’t be fixed by fresh air in your lungs and dirt beneath your feet.

Here’s something I wrote about Lake Katherine last fall. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed composing it from the trail.

Stay In The Sunshine

My Facebook memories gave me something interesting yesterday. I had forgotten writing it but I do have a vague memory of this April day last year. I thought you might enjoy reading it as much as I did.

I made it to Lake Alma for a quick walk tonight. There were little turtles sunning in their usual spot on the log in the water’s edge and one Canada Goose splashing and playing not far away. All the little turtles jumped in when I got too close except one guy who had no fear and chose to stay put while his companions fled.

The goose? Lots of others looked on while he splashed around, embodying pure joy amidst what appeared to be harsh judgement from his companions. Do geese judge each other? I don’t know.

And then I noticed this gentleman (pictured). He was oblivious to the world. The sun sparkled in the water and life went on around him but he didn’t care. He just seemed to be enjoying the moment.

They all were enjoying the moment. Go do that, friends. Stay in the sunshine, splash like no one’s watching and just enjoy your life. It’s too short to do anything else.

A Stroll Through Yoctangee Park

Sunday was gorgeous but the day found me running errands. Before the errands though, I stopped by Chillicothe’s Yoctangee Park for a stroll around the pond. This city park is a favorite spot for fishing, senior photos and reunions. There’s also a trail around the water’s edge that’s paved part of the way and natural ground part of the way.

First you cross the bridge.

Then you encounter a bunch of ducks along the path. These guys were so still they looked like statues.

There’s gorgeous scenery and lots of squirrels with a soundtrack of birdsong for good measure. This non-native species is called Muscovy but I just call them murder ducks. Don’t they look murderous?

Then there are the swans. They’re on the nest right now!

I was sad to realize they have marked some beautiful old trees for cutting. They look healthy to me but I assume that someone smarter than me about these things sees something I do not.

Either that or they’re just needlessly destroying some of my favorite trees so we’ll go with the first story and hope for the best.

This stroll preceded stops at two home supply stores and Kroger. It was exactly what I needed to prepare me for the work ahead!

Nature is amazing for our mental health and physical well being. Even just a few minutes of fresh air and birdsong can work wonders. Try it. I promise it will improve your day!!