A few years ago, I had occasion to read Florence Williams’ The Nature Fix, a book which explores the scientific basis for why wandering around in the outdoors is good for your mind, body, and spirit. I already knew this intuitively but it was interesting to see that intuition backed-up by some understanding of the biology that makes such goodness happen. I probably wouldn’t call experiencing Nature a “fix” as that conflates a joyous activity with the often desperate struggles people have with various real addictions. Perhaps something like “The Nature Refresh” instead. Regardless, going outside is a good thing and something we’re (fortunately) in a position to do with some regularity.

Thanks, however, to the virus, work, volunteering, and recent foul weather (but nowhere near as foul as that currently in Texas), the Outside (aside from a walk around the block) has been in short supply lo these last few days. Then today emerged as another interlude between storms. While The LovedOne opted to stay inside and work a miracle in the form of a banana creme pie, I went for a 5.5 mile (8.9 km), 1,100 foot (335 m) of gain circuit in nearby Forest Park.

So, from P4 up Cantrall Creek to the Halls of Manzanita Trail. Along that and the Grotto Trail to Jackson Creek. Then up to Jackson Ridge on Sofie’s Trail and down to Norling Creek on the Legburner Trail. The day had started out sunny but by the time I got to the ridge top, the next storm had dropped the temperature and rendered the sky in pearly overcast. In the gathering gloom, I descended the Shade Creek and Canyon Falls Trails to the Confluence Bridge and then worked my way back to P4 on the Ridgeview Trail. The parking lot had been empty when I left but had eight cars in it when I returned. Yet I passed only one person on the trails. This was enough activity for both a Nature refresh and caloric justification for a piece of pie. 🙂

The small “three-fingered” cascade on Cantrall Creek
Along the Grotto Trail
Madrone abstract
Drops on a dropped leaf
The Wave
Veins and drops
Norling Creek
Colorful decay
A splash of color in an otherwise pale forest
Cladonia “pixie cups” (a fruticose lichen)
Canyon Falls