Get Lost

Nature Trail
Photo by Carolynn Waites

Just looking at this photo makes me happy: surrounded by nature, with no idea what lies just around the bend. This nature trail is hidden at the back of a local county park. It’s not very long, and you can still hear the sounds of traffic nearby, but it is still a small slice of paradise to me. I took this picture a few weeks ago; I can look at it now while at my desk and recall the peace it brought me.

I encourage you to get lost as often as you can. You don’t have to spend the day traveling to a nature reserve. You can do it from your work cubicle if that is your only option.

Find your spot. Where can you go to get in touch with nature and away from the everyday world? No matter where you are, there are ways to get in touch with the outside world.

  • A park.
  • Your backyard (or front yard).
  • A garden center.
  • A florist.
  • A bookstore, library, or magazine rack–find the outdoor and nature titles.
  • Your computer–pick a place you want to go and visit it virtually.
  • A creek, river, lake, or beach.
  • Your stereo–listen to sounds of the ocean or jungle.
  • Your street–find a bird, a tree, or an insect and observe it.

No distractions. Put down your phone. No multi-tasking. No surfing the web. Just you and this small taste of nature. Observe the beauty of the natural world. Close your eyes and listen. Breathe. Absorb.

No timeline. Whether you are able to get away for 30 minutes or only 5 minutes, this break will make a difference in your day. It will remind you of what is really important. You will feel calmer and ready to face the rest of the day.

It is not how, but why. It is truly not important how you take your nature break. The important thing is to just do it. Lose yourself in the natural world today. It will refresh and revive your mind. Try it once, and I believe you will look forward to getting lost again.

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Honey Bee Enjoys Vitex Flowers

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Photo by Carolynn Waites

This little honey bee (Apis mellifera) is visiting my newly planted Vitex tree (Vitex agnus-castus).

I have wanted to plant Vitex in my back yard for a while, so over this long Memorial Day weekend I finally planted two small trees in my back yard. These deciduous shrubs/small trees are beautiful and they attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. They are also commonly known as Chaste trees.

Now I get to enjoy the beautiful lilac flowers that this tree produces through the spring and summer, with the benefit of admiring the amazing creatures the flowers attract.

Buescher State Park TX

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Photo by Carolynn Waites

Take a beautiful, tree-lined drive through Buescher State Park in Smithville, TX.

There is something about being surrounded by trees that feels almost religious to me.