A hike this morning in nature refuels my soul and invites me to appreciate the beauty of the natural world that surrounds me. A walk in nature is a powerful reset following a busy week working as a Stress Management Coach and supporting clients though their transformational journeys in their personal and professional lives.
For me, spending time in nature is a valuable time to refuel, reconnect and reset. It is the ultimate act of self-care which I can not live without. Ignoring my need to spend time in nature results in consequences physically, mentally, emotionally and certainly spiritually. How often we treat nature as something to visit, an ‘add on’ to our daily life, or something we must ‘find time’ to do. I wonder could we schedule time in for nature as a priority before our work and the other daily duties we tend to make a priority in our lives? Beginning our day with a walk, fresh air and nature revitalises and refuels us creating a powerful start-up for our day.
Easter weekend symbolizes a change in seasons, a time for rebirth and renewal. I am blessed to live on land that includes spring-fed ponds and twisting creeks, winding trails through woodland growth, and wetlands that flood the land every spring, attracting an abundance of wildlife. The birds arrive and create new nesting areas, and the air is filled with the music of songbirds. The acres of diverse land provide endless opportunities to explore the wonder and the gifts nature provides. Spring is so exciting as new growth emerges from under the decaying fallen trees, and new life pokes through the autumn leaves that have over the winter insulated tiny new seeds harbouring spring’s new growth.
This morning, a friend joins me for a mid-morning hike together on my property. We have scheduled a much needed time to reconnect. First-order was to find a plank of wood to add to the natural walkway that we have previously built across an expanding wetland area. The flooded area was once a narrow creek that we could jump across relatively easily. Now the creek has become a flood zone that has expanded with the melting ice creating beautiful little waterfalls. The newly built structure, a dam, has been created by our resident beaver as he continuously carves out and changes the landscape creating ever-changing contours and marshes. His activities create constant change providing a beautiful new habitat for wildlife which we aim to preserve.
To be able to explore the trails at the back of our property we will need to access the new walkway that allows us the traverse the flooding across our new wetlands. Finding a 6 foot 2” x6” plank to connect a dryer area to the natural walkway will suffice and will provide us with a way to navigate over the recently flooded wetlands without getting a soaker! We have a shy, resident beaver that has been busy damming up the fast-running creek. The water has backed up requiring it to find an alternative path and circumvent the precision built structure so cleverly constructed out of nature’s branches and twigs. We place the plank and carefully walk the narrow boardwalk which is propped up just above the level of the water line. Although a little wobbly, we reach the other side or the swollen creek safe and dry, ready for the next leg of our hike.
Bentley, our trusted trail guide, leads the way as we marvel at the beautiful art that nature provides. Tall trees swaying in the wind are breathtaking. The trees boast beautiful and unique variations of their outer coverings. Each tree has its own ‘personality’ with variation in height, shape, crowns, and bark. We compare and contrast the bark of the Trembling Aspen, Birch and American Beech trees with trunks that feel smooth, even and slightly textured compared to the dark coloured, rough textured scales of Black Cherry, Hawthorn, and Iron Wood trees.
The air is crisp and the sky is a clear and a stunning blue as we walk along the maze of trails with the dried, crisp brown autumn leaves crunching under each footfall. The trees protect us from the slightly cool breeze as we hike up the gently rolling hills above the wetlands.
Bentley stops abruptly and focuses on a marshy area below the curve of the trail we have been hiking along. We notice a slight movement. Bentley becomes quiet and very still. He is focused on a small, dark mass in the marsh.
We watch the dark spot. Is it a beaver, a muskrat, or perhaps only the wind blowing some old dried marsh weeds? We stand quietly and watch closely. Silence. Finally, we see movement, a head turn and we can see the profile of our resident beaver. Hello Mister Architect!
I have read that beavers do not have good eyesight, but they have a keen sense of smell and hearing. Beavers have a unique alarm signal. When frightened, they will slap the water loudly with their tail while diving into the water for safety. They are excellent swimmers with their webbed hind-feet, and broad, scaled tails. We are quite pleased that he seems to ignore us watching him. He either notices us and doesn’t feel threatened, or his eyesight is poor and he hasn’t noticed our presence. Either way, we are excited to have found him while on our hike, a gift from Nature.
We observed our resident beaver as he chewed a floating branch he was holding in the marshy water. We smiled noting he looked healthy and robust. His territory includes an expansive area surrounding the wetlands. Beaver’s teeth grow continuously throughout their lives. They constantly wear down their powerful front teeth chewing through trees, branches and plants used for food or for constructing their lodges for living in or for dams.
We chuckled as we finished our walk down a trail noting the distinct path of destruction he had created. Evidence of his activity was marked on many trees which had fallen, or were on the verge of falling. This was a particularly distinctive piece of ‘art work’ created by our local artist/architect.
Nature is full of amazing surprises. During this Easter weekend make some time to explore Mother Nature and her gifts. Look for her beautiful art in the trees, the plants and the animals. She has all sorts of surprises awaiting you. Just slow down a bit and take note of her subtle art through her wildlife, her trees and her plants that are emerging. Look for the colours, the textures, the patterns and activities that feed your soul, refuel, reconnect and provide a powerful reset.
Simone Usselman-Tod is a Stress Management and Mindset Breakthrough Coach. She integrates the wisdom and knowledge from her 30 year medical career and a holistic business and coaching practice Simone help her clients to achieve results and change their lives. For general inquiries or assessment tools book a call at https://simoneusselmantod.com/book/
Simone facilitates the Wild About Wellness Community online where members passionate about holistic health and wellness come together to share information, educate and contribute for the purpose of learning and growing. You are invited to explore the site with a free 1 month membership. Get your 1 month free membership HERE