Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall in the Forest

Thanks for joining us on the Fall Into Nature Blog Hop!

We spend a lot of time outside. Not as much time as we would like to, but still, a lot. One of our favorite places to go is into the forest. Some people call them woods, we call them forests. (Now I know, there are technical terms for the types of wooded areas, but let's just skip all of those right now and take a trip together into the forest.) Are you with us?

There are several small forests near by. One of the easiest ways to find them is to look up your state parks. Recently, we went on a guided hike in our local state park. We have been there dozens, probably hundreds of times, but it was humbling and exciting to go with a guide... who could tell us the names of all those trees and plants we love to see.

This forest has several small ground-fed streams that run into the river along the edge of the forest. It can be relaxing to just stand  (or sit) and listen to the water trickle down through the rocks.

Sometimes you see strange and unusual trees in the forest. I believe this one was a shag-bark hickory. Quite shaggy!

Along the hike Arlene and I took pictures. We switched back and forth a lot with the camera, so you're seeing things from both of our perspectives.

Speaking of perspective, this is one of my favorite shots from the hike. This tree reminds me of an Ent! (You know, tree-herders from the Lord of the Rings?!) I love seeing things from a different perspective.

While we were out looking at the flora, some fauna decided to show up. Our group found these two little snakes.

I love hiking in the forest. It challenges my body while calming my mind. For this particular foray into the forest, all four of us went. (So did about 30 other people, but it was still quite relaxing!)

This tree is, well, HUGE! It must be deeply rooted. I want to be deeply rooted in God's word.

Some wild asters just to remind me that God loves flowers too!

Here is a shot of the river that winds through the Forest. I could take my lunch and sit on the bank all day. Something about being in the forest takes away the distractions and lets me hear God. I see His work all around me, and my soul starts to sing.

Evidence that even deeply-rooted trees have an appointed end.

Emily and Arlene stood still long enough (at our friend's insistence) so I could get a picture of them too!

The tree branches reach for the sky in praise to their Creator!

This is Kevin, our guide. He helped make a list of ALL of the plants that live in our local Forest. I think there are about 280 varieties. He's a great Naturalist, and loves to share his knowledge.

One other tree that met it's appointed end. And now we are at our appointed end. 

Maybe it's time to stop taking your world so seriously and find some joy for today! May we suggest a hike in the Forest? As You're spending your time wisely, Fall Into Nature, and spend part of YOUR Fall in the Forest!

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