As our global human population grows, finding a quiet, undisturbed place in nature seems to be more challenging. It’s not that I don’t like people, I do. I just also enjoy spending some time in pure nature-no noisy trucks, no distracting man-made objects alone or with just my family or a few friends. It's good for my soul. Add to that, the excitement of discovering something amazing, makes it fun Lucky for us, here in the USA, there are several natural places preserved for us to explore and rejuvenate our spirit.
Today I want to share with you a wonderful place along the coast of North Carolina that was a real treasure to explore-The Rachel Carson Reserve, in Beaufort, North Carolina. This estuarine was named after Carson in 1985, one of many posthumous honors created in her name after her death in 1964. Carson was a woman who wore many distinguished hats-marine biologist, renowned author of several environmental books, conservationist and researcher. Her work led to the movement of eliminating the pesticide DDT from use and many other important environmental advocacy firsts.
The Rachel Carson Reserve is part of a series of islands that make up the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve. This area serves as a natural outdoor laboratory where scientists, students and the public can learn about influences that shape and sustain coastal areas as well as enjoy raw nature. Getting to the island is easy-a short, five-minute boat ride from the town of Beaufort will drop you off on Carrot Island for a small fee. Walking trails are clearly marked. We lucked out and hit prime time for low tide, allowing us to cross over to Bird Shoal Island. We walked for a few miles and were delighted by the variety of shells and sand dollars! A group of wild horses added to the beauty. Rather than me telling you more about it, let me share a picture tour with you. As descriptive as may writing can be, nothing captures the essence of a place as a picture.
We went in February, on a beautiful weekend where the weather hit the 60's. Dogs are allowed on the island, but there are some prickly plants along the path, so be careful.
We hit the sand dollar lottery! I have never seen a live sand dollar, have you?
Lots of beautiful shells. Look at the size of this live mussel, which we put back in the water, of course.
Feral horses roam the island.
Duke Marine Lab and The NOAA sit just across the channel.
We pick up beach trash wherever we go. This piece of fishing line was the ONLY piece of trash we found the whole day! The reserve was pristine.
I highly recommend a visit to this special place whether you go alone, with your family or friends. It's a great place for children to learn more about the environment, especially if they do some studying about Ms. Carson before they go. Beaufort is a beautiful, waterfront town with great southern hospitality and other fun things to do as well.
Do you have a special place in nature that you recommend?
#RachelCarson #Beach #NC #Beaufort #Nature #NatureHeals #Shells #Vacation #Environment
Is your perfect day at the beach one where you are lying on a chaise lounge, sipping a pina colada under an umbrella made of palm tree fronds? Eighty-degree trade winds whispering sweet nothings in your ears, a good book in your hands that pushes away every worry, an afternoon nap so deep that you wake up wondering where you are as you wipe away the drool that leaked down the side of your face? Me too. But, that’s not always possible. Alas, the beach can be great, even off-season. Here are 6 reasons why:
One: You get it all to yourself! Well, almost. You may have to share it with a solitary jogger or maybe a retiree sweeping the sand with a metal detector hoping to find treasure. You probably won’t be hit in the head with a beach ball, however, or have to listen to a boom box playing your least favorite song.
Two: No Bathing Suit required. Phew! Tired of trying to squish those extra pounds into a bathing suit that feels more like sausage casing? Hit the beach off-season in some warm, cozy wear. You don’t even have to do your hair, throw on a warm hat or a worn baseball cap; you’ll be in style.
Three: You can bring Rover. Many beaches allow dogs off-season. Dogs love to romp on the sand and toy with the waves.
Four: Wildlife watching. Wildlife behaves wild in the off-season when us humans around invading their turf. If you're lucky you'll see dolphins teaching their young how to surf the waves close to the beach, whales migrating to and from the south to mate and bear their young, and seagulls fetching their own dinner when they don’t have your potato chip bag to raid. Why we even spotted a pig one winter on the beach hanging with his volleyball playing beach friends.
Five: Save money. Waterfront hotels offer low rates. No beach pass required.
Six: Good night sleep. The beach offers that salty taste and the lulling rhythm of the waves to tune down your internal chatter all year.
Do you have a favorite beach you like to visit no matter what time of year it is? Coming up later this week: A special beach to visit.
#health #natureheals #outdoors #nature
The holidays are over, the delight of the first snowfall has passed, and spring is still weeks away. For some of us, it may be hard to get outdoors as much as we’d like to; darkness falls early, too cold, or maybe there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Whatever the reason, we can enhance our nature exposure, and reap the benefits that we discussed last week, by creating indoor gardens. Let’s take a look at a few plant suggestions for the inside of your home or office.
Amaryllis: Traditionally used as a holiday plant, amaryllis bulbs can be planted at any time of the year. There is something exciting about planting a bulb in a pot and watching it grow. The magnificent blooms of this plant make the effort well worth it. Even better, many bulb sites sell these at a discount this time of year. They come in many colors other than red-pink, white, orange, lime-green.
Orchids: Many people complain that they kill orchids. The most common reason for this is overwatering. These plants love neglect-a little water every 7-14 days (depending on how dry your indoor environment is) will be more than enough. Be sure the plant has the ability to drain the water after watering; they don’t like their roots to sit in water. When properly cared for, these plants will produce a show of flowers for weeks to months. Here’s a tip: When selecting your orchid plant, choose one that has buds on it. It will display flowers longer and it’s enjoyable to watch them unveil themselves.
Green leafy plants: Not only nice to look at, some rich, green leafy plants can improve the air quality of our indoor space. They can filter our air by not only producing Oxygen from CO2 but also by absorbing harmful benzene, formaldehyde and/or trichloroethylene. Flip through this list to see which ones might best fit in to the environment you have.
When choosing indoor plants you may want to consider sunlight requirements, how much care they need, and water drainage. If you need more assistance, your local garden center can be a great source of help.
Question for y’all-would how to videos help with subjects like this? Please comment below, thank you!
#plants #healing #health #indoorplants #wellness
This Valentine’s Week, millions of roses will be delivered to express love. Plants and flowers have a long tradition of being a source of love, joy, healing and celebration in many cultures. In fact, it has become such a common practice that many of us probably share and use plants indoors without any conscious awareness of their benefits.
Research supports the practice of bringing nature indoors for our wellbeing. A small study conducted on residents in a rehabilitation center in Norway (1) found that indoor plants, “were pleasant to look at and elicited feelings of relaxation and positive emotions which contributed to opportunities for reflection and contemplation. They expressed a feeling of connectedness to nature: a feeling of wholeness and spirituality elicited by the nature elements. They also expressed that the presence of nature elements contributed to a sense of being taken care of.”
A larger study (2), also conducted in Norway, of employees of who work in public and private indoor spaces found that greater contact with indoor nature resulted in less job stress, fewer subjective health complaints and less sickness absences. The researchers concluded that the indoor plants influence the social climate at the workplace.
What power do the plants have to elicit these types of responses in us? One research study (3) showed that perceived attractiveness is increased in rooms that contain plants and may be what leads to decreased feelings of stress.
This Valentine’s season when we share the gift of plants and flowers we may be expressing more than our love, we may be delivering wellbeing.
How do you feel around plants and flowers?
Coming up next week: Plants that work well indoors.
#Valentine'sDay #Flowers #Plants #healing