-By Brandon Wikman
My best stress reliever is spending moments in the field observing nature in its natural setting. A sense of freedom and allure captivates my soul to what I call my second home. There’s nothing better than taking a day to splurge in what Mother Nature has given us.
Last week I spent the afternoon trudging through my snowy wooded-wonderland, back where I grew up. I decided not to bring anything, except my camera. I tossed my cellular telephone in the seat of my truck and stripped away my wristwatch. I truly believe the only way experiencing a sense of appreciation for the forest is to escape from the hectic world we live in. Sometimes it’s important for us to forget the time of day or who to call. It gives me a sense of intimacy with the ice-crusted leaves frozen atop the snow, and music orchestra from the tree canopy. Taking a nature walk is all about immersing your heart and soul in the wonders of wildlife.
As I entered the snowy depths of the forest edge, I noticed an abundance of deer tracks. The snow was so deep that every deer in the area specifically used the same trail. It reminded me of a congested highway, which had only a single pathway to travel. I followed the trail into a dense pine plantation. The trees were so thick that the limbs tangled and weaved one another creating a snow barricade. There were several deer beds in the area. It was as if deer used the pine branches as some sort of a blanket or shelter.
My eyes scanned through the rows of trees looking for shed antlers. I hiked my way through the pines into an opening in the forest. As I approached the sparse wooded area, my eyes became mesmerized. Sunbeams pierced through the naked branches and lit the snow with a sparkling glitter. It was one of the prettiest scenes I’ve ever fixed my eyes on. I dug into my backpack sifting through bottles of water and extra layers of clothing searching for my camera. The enlightening moment was frozen in time within seconds and became not only a memory, but also a piece of artwork.
The last sight I wanted to explore was the river. A winding river has a sense of magic attached to it. It’s the feeling of mystery in which rivers resonate that intrigues me to observe them. Being near such a long stretch of chilly water sweeping through the forest, field and across the entire state makes for a marvelous spectacle. The sun began fading beneath the horizon and the sky lit with assortments of color. It was a perfect ending to a breathtaking mini-adventure.
I hope everyone can spend a morning, afternoon or weekend in the field. There’s no better way to ease the nerves and enjoy the simple things in life. Some of the most magnificent spectacles in life are overlooked due to the daily routine of madness. It’s important to make time for yourself.