Chaotic Harmony on the Dawn of a New Year

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The wilds of nature on a frigid sunny day can be a magical place. Red squirrels leap from low branches and tunnel under snow. Red-tailed hawks perch on tree limbs above frozen marshes, perhaps waiting for the tempting movement of rabbits. Rivers flow and shoreline ice sparkles and crackles. That was nature’s welcome to me on the first day of the New Year. I breathed deeply from the evergreen scented air and headed for a large stand of towering red pine trees that were planted in neat orderly rows during the Great Depression. The pines created an image very much unlike what one expects in wild nature; yet to the naturalist spirit within me, they beckoned to be explored. Continue reading

Hiking Makes You Happier: Let Your 2017 Trail Adventures Begin!

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

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Winter weather may appear frightful, but a hike with good friends is nothing short of delightful. Hiking is good for you too and offers more than the sights, sounds and scents of nature. It’s an easy and effective cardio workout that lowers blood pressure, blood sugar levels, reduces risk of heart disease, strengthens muscles, helps control weight and boosts your mood. It’s also a great way to make new friends. “Research shows that hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptoms of stress and anxiety,” says Gregory A. Miller, PhD, former president of the American Hiking Society, “Being in nature is ingrained in our DNA, and we sometimes forget that.” Perhaps 2017 is the year to remember that we humans were born to hike. Continue reading