Immerse Yourself in Nature

Week of August 29 – September 4, 2021

by Whitney Lash-Marshall, Naturalist

On a recent hot and humid summer day I took the opportunity to leave my phone and computer behind and go for a hike. The sights and sounds along the trails had changed dramatically since early summer and I felt like a newcomer to the forest. How easy it can be to forget that we, too, are a part of the natural world! So many things in our day to day life tune that connection out, but it comes back so quickly. How a slight floral scent quietly guides your choice of direction because you’re wondering which tree or plant it might be, the relief of stepping into cooler temperatures as you cross over into the forest, how your brain and shoulders start to feel less tense when you’re surrounded by green on all sides… 

As I walked along the trail, I happened to look up. There were two monarchs lazily fluttering above the trail following the same path as me. Did they notice that we were hiking together? Have you ever wondered what the creatures that we like to observe are thinking when they are observing us? I stopped to peer into a spider web that pulled the edges of leaves together in a tight lair – the spider scuttled away from view, reminding me that in its world, I was not likely to be always a welcome guest since I looked like a threatening potential predator. 

One of my favorite things about the summer is to get ‘lost’ by fully immersing myself in nature – test it out and see what you notice on your next hike! 

eastern chipmunk peeks out of rocks
funnel web spider close up of spider inside web
Great Blue Heron flies over grassy backyard lawn
Orange and black Monarch butterfly settled on a horse nettle flower