Today was the last day of my 30x30 challenge. I was kind of hoping to end it on a high note but my 30 minutes today were pretty low on my nature-loving scale, especially since the hungry bugs sucked the fun out everything, literally!
The reason it was slightly disappointing was that my 30 minutes was actually broken into 2 parts: 25 minutes this evening + 5 minutes from earlier in the day. This afternoon I took a few minutes to enjoy the sunshine in my backyard when the sun peeked out from behind the clouds. It was not my original plan to actually count those minutes in the backyard but sometimes dire circumstances result in compromises.
When my youngest and I went for a walk this evening the black flies and mosquitoes were out in full force. I think I saw one about the size of a small bird. Ok, maybe not the size of a bird but a very large June bug for sure :P. I did manage to last 25 minutes out in the wilderness but after about the sixth bug bite in a row I bolted for the car. My youngest was already there having given up on Mom’s silly quest after 15 minutes.
I did get a few pictures to document the last day before I ran for cover. They aren’t fantastic as I was swatting bugs while trying to focus, but you can tell I was outside and that’s what counts.
All in all, I’m really happy I took the challenge and I’m pleased with the way things turned out. I made a definite effort to engage with nature while I was outside. I didn’t just sit in the grass and read a book every day. I went to a variety of locations, I tried to enjoy the sounds, sights and smells while I was out there, and I did my best to go every day. I ended up missing 3 days of the challenge, however, there were many days where I greatly exceeded the 30 minutes so I am proud to say that the challenge was a great success for me.
My plan for June is to do a Plank a Day for the month June, it doesn’t rhyme like “Plank a Day in May”, but I found it too difficult to remember to do both challenges every day for the month of May so I had to reschedule one of them. I’m old and my memory can only hold so much information. I plan to start June 1st so I’ll let you know how it’s going once I get started :).
For the past several days I have tried to find someone to go waterfall hunting with me but since there were no takers I was forced to go on my own. Even the computer guy blew me off (which isn’t exactly a strike on my 3 strike policy but he didn’t earn any brownie points by cancelling). Anyway, as I was wandering around the woods on my own I realized that it probably was not the best idea to be out there solo, but since I didn’t figure this out until I was already in the woods, I just kept on going. I’d checked out this beauty before so it wasn’t hard to find and not too far off the beaten path.
I love a good waterfall and I hope to go track down some new ones soon. There are supposed to be quite a few in this great province so hopefully I can find a partner in crime to go with me or I’ll just have to force my kids to suck it up and come with.
I’ve been doing the 30×30 Challenge and it’s been going really well. Luckily the weather has cooperated and it’s been easy to get outside and enjoy nature… until this weekend. The rain has found us. I thought we might make it out yesterday but by the time we got back from the market it was just too rainy. We did spend time outside at the market enjoying the smells of donairs, samosas and mini-donuts but just being outside is not the point of the challenge. The point of the challenge is to get outside in nature.
Today, I decided not to let the rain deter us from enjoying the bounties of nature. Today we went to the local greenhouse. We did get a bit wet as we picked out some great bushes for the garden and we also spent some time indoors where nature joined us.
There were flowers as far as the eye could see. So although we weren’t standing in green grass I think the ocean of flowers and plants made up for that. And as for yesterday, well, there have been several days where I have spent much more than the allotted 30 minutes outside so I don’t feel guilty at all.
I signed up for the 30×30 Nature Challenge and I have to say that I am enjoying it so far. All you have to do is commit to spending 30 minutes outside in nature for 30 days. The challenge makes it as easy as sitting outside and reading a book but I have been trying to immerse myself in nature a bit further than my backyard.
My first day involved a very long walk by a river (I actually spent almost all day outdoors so was way over my 30 minutes). The second day was a quick exploration of some trees down the road from us (we found tons of deer tracks and what I think is a raccoon track). The third day involved a walk with my kids through the woods near another river, plus we set up the badminton set in the yard and hit the birdie back and forth for a bit.
Today involved a walk in the woodlot near a pond and stream. We saw a snake, I showed my kids how to identify spruce, fir and pine trees and the youngest got one very wet sock and sneaker due to a mis-step while jumping over the stream :).
Our little excursions have made me realize how much time I spent in nature as a kid and how little my own kids spend outside.
As a kid, we built camps in nearby woods and stayed out all day playing with friends. My kids barely know any kids in our neighbourhood and are not known to be great explorers. We went camping almost every weekend in the summers, rain or shine. My kids are lucky to camp once or twice a summer. One saving grace is that my sister lives in the boonies so when we visit there (at least 6 times/ yr) my kids are off with their cousins doing all those things that my friends and I used to do.
I’m sure not all of my 30 days will involve great new explorations but as long as some of them do it is a worthwhile effort. Nature calms us and renews us and we need to take advantage of it whenever possible. And exposing my kids to more of the benefits of nature is a positive thing for all of us.