Great Outdoors

If you’ve looked at my Instagram feed or read some of my other posts, you’ve probably figured out that the Great Outdoors, nature, is very important to me. Spending time outside, in nature, observing, walking, just being, has always soothed and renewed me.

Some of my earliest memories are of lying in the grass in our backyard when I was only 3 or 4. I liked to pick the blades of grass and a chew on the ends. As I grew, my range grew too. On my grandparent’s ranch I could roam freely, so I did, throwing stones into the ponds, picking wildflowers, climbing stacks of hay bales, climbing the hills to stare off into the distance, watching hawks and prairie dogs, and more. During recess at school, I’d go sit in the grass, looking for pretty stones or four-leaf clovers, watching water striders and other bugs in and around puddles.

For several years, in one yard, my father planted a large garden and many fruit trees. We all helped some to care for it, but it was mostly my father’s ‘baby’. There were artichokes, cucumbers, onions, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, apples, cherries, grapes, pomegranates, lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, and others that so many years later I can’t remember. I do remember Dad making pickles with the cucumbers.

When we moved to Washington, at first we lived in town. Less than a year later we moved a few miles out of town, onto two acres along a river. I spent many hours sitting by the river or wandering in nearby woods. I watched otters and fish in the river; eagles and hawks overhead; deer, bears, elk, weasels, beavers, coyotes, skunks. And so many others. Caddis fly larvae in the river were always interesting. We think  there were cougars in the mountains surrounding our little valley based on screams heard at night — not human. The bears — we always knew when they were feeding down at the river because the dogs would go crazy. We even had one run along side us in the river once, while we were rafting. For a while we had horses — deer would come and visit with them, then visit our vegetable garden for a snack.

I love storms. The winds are invigorating. The lightning and thundering exciting. In Washington, our front door faced north and the back door, south. There were nights when we could go back and forth from front to back watching two separate storms at opposite ends of the valley. More than once we called in suspected lightning fires. When I was in high school, I attended an art camp on the Olympic peninsula. The most common way to get there was by ferry, as to drive would take several hours. One of the trips was during a storm, so bad that our run was the last of the day. The ferry rocked violently, spray flying high over the bow, various things clanking and clanging. Where did I spend most of the crossing? Outside, of course, in the wind and the rain.

I went off to college, first in Idaho then back to Washington. Then California, Indiana, Illinois, and now Georgia. Always I found places to be outside — parks, gardens, paths. Always I noticed what was around me, near and far — mountains, clouds, rivers, streams, ocean, beaches, cliffs; sun, moon, stars; wind, rain, snow; the flora and fauna. All of it. Already, here, I’ve wandered paths, found two nature areas, and look forward to visiting a third. Now that it’s spring, every day I wander our yard, looking for buds and blooms, animals, birds, and insects.

If I go more than a couple of days without time outside, I feel it — a restlessness, a sense of something missing.



About Robin Michelle

I write, I take photos, I read... I like to do things that make me happy.

Posted on 8 April 2014, in A to Z Challenge, Memories, Nature and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I agree! After a few days in the office, I’m ready to run outside for a while!

  2. Sukanya Ramanujan

    I’ve always been in the city- your writing makes me want to just pack and move somewhere in the mountains

    • Robin Michelle

      Cities are good too — shops, museums, art, etc. And I’ve always been able to find decent parks when I’ve lived in big (or even somewhat big) cities. But it’s definitely different to get away, out where most communities are towns and spread aways apart.
      Mountains are nice, but I’m definitely a beach person 🙂

  3. Living in a rain-less So.Calif., oh what I wouldn’t give for a good storm! Over from the A to Z.

    • Robin Michelle

      I was just in California last week (hence the late response). For our vacation, the weather was perfect, but I do know how bad it is to have it be unseasonably warm and a drought at the same time. If I could send some rain your way, I would.

  4. Found you on A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. My goodness, I went back and read all your A-to-Z blogs.

    We have so much in common. I love the outdoors. Check. I am eclectic. Check. I love cats. Check. I grew up in southern California. Check. Love birds. Check.

    Wanna be friends?

    • Robin Michelle

      And now I’ve gone back and looked at a few of your posts — and added you to Feedly so I can catch up and not miss new ones. Can’t wait to read all about the places you’ve been. My mom and step-dad have been in an RV the past few years, but the pretty much just go back and forth between the Oregon coast and Arizona.
      Friends are always good 🙂

  5. When we connect with nature, we connect with our selves. I’m enjoying the green of life after living in the desert for too many years. 😀

    • Robin Michelle

      Thank you for commenting. I think deserts can be interesting to visit, but I need more hum of life around me than can be easily found in a desert.

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