Thursday, June 23, 2016

Return to the Woods

If I thought I was hot and sweaty after traipsing around the pond at Delnor Woods in the fog this morning, I had no idea that I would find a way to get exponentially hotter and sweatier later: mow the lawn. 

At the moment, I am sitting in front of a fan, on the floor because I am too wet to sit on any furniture. Droplets of sweat are falling off strands of hair onto my shirt, arms, and laptop. I just checked, it's only 71 degrees outside at 9:30, but the humidity is at 95%. Give me a break, Illinois. 

When I left Delnor this morning, I heard the tail end of a weather report on the radio. Some poor town in Illinois has a heat index of 105 degrees today. That would like being boiled alive, wouldn't it? (Yes, Chuck, if we ignore the fact that water boils at 220 degrees Fahrenheit, it would be just like that, but I'm pretty sure my personal boiling point is 100.) It's hard to know who seems sweatier, Mother Nature or I, at times like these. 

Before I took on the mowing of the grass, I wanted to take some time to walk in the woods this morning. These mornings that I have spent in nature have made me feel so much calmer, and at peace with myself. The rest of the day can get a little crazy, and I can handle it. The biggest benefit is that I haven't felt the need to comfort myself with food. (I'm still trying to figure out other things I can do that will feed the hungers I have that have nothing to do with eating, but spending time in nature has made a good difference in my attitude.) 

Saint Charles was shrouded in fog this morning after the recent rains. I love seeing the world through a foggy lens, as long as the fog is OUTSIDE the lens, that is. I wanted so much to go back to the pond from yesterday because I was feeling much braver, knowing what the strange sound was coming from the water. I'm pretty certain it was the sound of bullfrogs. I managed to record the sound, so you can hear it, too, if you'd like.  The video is short, and you can hear the bullfrog at :08 in the video. If you listen carefully, you can also hear the water droplets falling onto the lower leaves, and the sound of birdsong in the distance. So peaceful there.

As I stepped into a small clearing, there was a whitetail deer having her breakfast. She didn't seem to mind my presence, and kept eating. While I made an adjustment to my camera, she disappeared into the woods without a sound, leaving behind a patch of weeds swaying in her absence. 

My khaki capris gathered water from the lush foliage as I walked along the path; the water soaked through the fabric, cooling my legs. The droplets glistened on the leaves like crystal clear jewels. 

I walked just under two miles today, enjoying the park and the surrounding neighborhoods. Before I put my camera in the car, a beautiful spider web caught my eye. So many photo opportunities felt like gifts today; special gifts for taking the time to enjoy nature's beauty. 

It was an inspirational, even though very wet, morning. I'm glad I took the time to immerse myself in the woods before I went home to tame our grass into submission. Delnor is turning out to be one of my favorite parks in Saint Charles. A return to the woods is a must.
Orange is still my favorite color.

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