Learn to identify poison ivy in a fun way at: Poison Ivy Quiz
Click yellow buttons under each photo to see the answers. It’s not really a quiz … it doesn’t keep score. But it’s a great educational exercise, even for people who can already spot poison ivy.
Over the past two weeks, Buddy the Bio-psycho-social Therapeutic Friend with Four Paw Drive, took to moseying — FOUR TIMES — out toward the distant neighbor northwest of us. (We’re surrounded by woods, with open space over about half the distance to that neighbor.)
“Don’t give me that crap about looking like my human companion.”
Apparently they have the grand-kids staying a spell and one of them is an irresistibly (to Buddy) screamy girl (maybe it’s a boy, but I wouldn’t bet on it) playing in their pool, which sits very close to the wall of their house that faces our Balsamea, echoing her voice more toward us than in any other direction, sometimes helped by the west wind and humidity.
Measuring in a straight line, their house is about 350 yards away, on the other side of the road. That is highly unacceptable moseying, definitely off the reservation. Buddy does not have a license to operate on blacktop or to rescue screaming girls that far away.
“I will wait for you.”
I can only imagine the wonders that Buddy enjoys in the woods of Balsamea every day and night, with his great capacity for scent, hearing, and night vision.
When he stops in the trail to investigate something, I wait. It’s the least I can do for all the times he waits while I do things in my never-ending pursuit of amateur silviculture, naturalism, and trail tending. Come to think of it, he spends most of his time waiting for me.
There never has been and never will be a friend so patient, so tolerant, so forgiving, so playful, and so nice to pet. A good dog is medicine for mind and body. Cats, too. But you can’t take cats for a hike, and they’re generally not so big on tug-of-war and keep-away with a stick, in all seasons and all weather.
Another sample of Spring 2013 advancing.
One of our early ferns (May 6) did a little lifting on its way up. Balsamea never stops entertaining us.
The leaf was gone the next day, so my camera-play had been lucky, leaving me with a souvenir of mindful woods-walking.
That’s what most of my photos from Balsamea are about: just taking time to notice what is really there. It is a fun hobby to collect souvenirs to remember things, and to remind me to keep being mindful of them. It is good medicine to mind and body.
However, sometimes I make a point of leaving the camera home, to “bathe” in the essence of the forest just for the sake of doing it, taking a lesson from my canine partner, being there just to be there, belonging there.
But Buddy has learned to pause the walk on his own when he sees the camera come out of its case.
- The Healing Power of a Walk in the Woods (eartheasy.com) – some studies are developing ways to quantify the health benefits of forest walking, and to identify the reasons, such as plant emissions.
- Noticing: How to Take a Walk in the Woods – by Adam Frank, NPR (www.npr.org/blogs/13.7) – Some good ideas on getting more from a walk in the woods; ideas that I use all the time.
- Walking Through the Forest (bildebok.wordpress.com)
- Bathing With Mushrooms (gailkirkpatrick.wordpress.com) – a piece that introduces forest bathing (Japanese shinrin-ryoho or shinrin-yoku). Inspired in part by this article:
- Fernalicious Forest Fun (bildebok.wordpress.com)
- Creature of the Day: Ferns (joyfulrestoration.com)