Forest Bathing

A term that means visiting a forest for relaxation. Or a walk through the woods to aid in a person’s well being and serenity. And what better time of year for this idea of forest bathing, than fall.

The forests here in Vermont are finally undergoing their autumn changes. Warmer weather in September slowed the process. And some worried that the colors might be muted or the leaves would fall off too quickly once the cooler weather arrived.

But as I stroll through the forests near where I live, as I bathe in their colorful splendor, I know that nature is right on schedule.

Autumn is here. And the forest is displaying her extravagance, splashing the earth with her glorious hues.

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It is truly the perfect time for forest bathing.

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Little River

It wasn’t the nicest of days. The sun wasn’t shining. The temperature wasn’t warm. And the leaves, once so vibrant, were fading.

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But I’ve learned, that in every season and in every place, there is beauty and joy if you take the time to look around you.

Little River…

Another state park. Another favorite of mine. In all kinds of weather and on all kinds of days.

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There’s something about the stillness and muted reflections of the reservoir in late fall.

There’s something about the soft and quiet foliage that remains, both on the trees and on the ground.

There’s something about the peacefulness of still waters and cooler air.

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There’s something about the serenity of shimmering raindrops when the sun tries to peek through the dense clouds.

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And there is something about the wonder of hearing the sound of sleet echoing through the forest.

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After all it wasn’t the nicest of days…

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But there was beauty and joy to be found at Little River.

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Fall’s Finale

It happens slowly. This changing of the seasons.

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The shift from summer to autumn. A serenade between the two that lingers. A dramatic pause in the harmonious cycle.

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There are moments when it seems as if fall’s melody will last forever.

The colorful abundance never ending. A crescendo of vibrant hues and shades.

And then ever so subtly the finale arrives. The colors once so rich and brilliant begin to pale and merge into a soft golden tempo.

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I try to capture these moments…as fall winds down her glorious performance. Lingering in that pause and savoring this final symphony of beauty.

Nature knows. This foliage finale just before the next pause and the approach of winter.

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She reminds us that nothing lasts forever. To everything there is a season and a rhythm. A beginning and an ending.

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And it is in theses pauses, these spaces between the notes, where the music happens.

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Lovely Leaves

I say it every year.

I take a million pictures.

I feel amazement and delight.

And I find myself in absolute awe.

Autumn in Vermont is truly magnificent.

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The lovely leaves have captured my heart again this year.

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Those still in the trees…

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And those that have landed softly on the ground at my feet.

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Nature’s palette never ceases to surprise and amaze me.

They are all lovely, from the yellow to the red,  to every color in between.

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Such lovely, lovely leaves.

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Earth Tones

Are some of my most favorite colors. And it is now, as fall approaches, that these colors begin to appear and transform the landscape.

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It is a feast for the eyes. A wondrous sight to behold.

 It is a time to be in awe of natures’ brilliant palette of colors.

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Bright greens as older trees with their lush leaves wait patiently. They have wisdom and know there is no rush.

Younger trees show off with vibrant reds and yellows. In a hurry to ready for what lies ahead.

Fields come alive with deep jewel tones for they know this is their final display of the year.

It is the dramatic pause between two extreme seasons.

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 When the earth shows off her beautiful tones.

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Last Days of Summer

Are always bittersweet.

The nights get a bit cooler. The days a bit shorter.

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And other little signs that summer is coming to a close.

It’s a time of change. Of last bursts of growth. Of metamorphosis. Of harvesting. Of preparation.

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There are parades and celebrations. Music and fireworks.

Summer does go out with a bang.

There’s always a sense of nostalgia.

A wish to have summer back with it’s endless warm lazy days.

It’s the feeling of summer we will miss. Like children on break from school. It seems to stretch out forever. But to adults it feels fleeting. We fill it up. Trying to squeeze every last drop of summer experiences in.

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Like every season, time keeps moving forward. It is the cycle of  the earth. It is the cycle of life.

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We adapt and we get ready and we cherish…

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The last days of summer.

Unfolding

Spring, it seems, has been struggling to reach our hill here in central Vermont.

But slowly…very slowly the earth is waking up. I’ve been waiting. Waiting and watching. Eager for all the colors to burst forth and the lush green to return.

I’ve tried not to be too impatient. Spring comes when it’s ready.

The unfolding of nature.

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I am watching it with wondrous eyes. And I try to capture its essence with pictures and words.

There is something almost sensuous about this process of unfolding.

Rich, earthy, sultry.

It’s as if the trees and flowers

Are not only unfolding, but are getting ready to burst wide open in bloom

And as the natural world unfolds, so do I.

Opening my arms and heart…to welcome the arrival of spring.