Grit Blogs > News From The Nest In Rural Pennsylvania

Time to Get Away

Tree growing out of a rockIt is so easy to get caught up in all the craziness around us today! It seems to come at us from all angles. The economy is not good right now, which affects our everyday lives in so many ways. We have to worry about our job stability, making payments on loans, and how we are going to pay insurance and taxes, not to mention our light bill, phone bill, and putting food on the table for our families. We have to decide how we are going to take this child here, while another needs to be at another place at the same time! And going on right in the middle of all this is a presidential election. We constantly hear and see ads everywhere we turn, trying to convince us why we should vote this way or that. It is enough to make my head spin.

One of the best ways I’ve found to forget all this, if only for a short time, is to get into nature. Try to make time to get outside and go for a walk. Go to the park, go to the woods, and go find a hiking trail. It doesn’t matter where, just get outside!

Wipe all of the worries from your mind, and pay attention to what surrounds you!

Mourning cloak

Pretend you are a child again, exploring for treasures. Look up and down, and notice the little things. Listen for the sounds of the birds chirping and singing. It’s music that soothes the soul!

A chipping sparrow

Watch for all those little crawling critters, the many kinds of bugs and caterpillars with their amazing diversity.




Notice their shapes and colors. Perhaps you will see a moth and notice how very fuzzy they are when you get a close look.

Female Io Moth

Imperial Moth

Rosy Maple Moth

Watch for all the many kinds of mushrooms. Imagine that maybe a fairy might sit on the cap to rest her wings.

Small white mushrooms


Pale yellow mushroom

Birch Polypore Mushroom


Take note of all the different kinds of wild berries. Do not eat them if you don’t know what they are, but look at their colors and shapes. Are they round, or oblong? Do they grow on a bush, or are they on the ground? If you have any identification guides, take them with you and see if you can identify the things you see.

Jack in the Pulpit among the ferns


Notice the plant life and how it differs from the smallest plant that grows right next to the ground, to the tallest trees!

Lady Slippers



Watch for wildlife. Maybe you will see a chipmunk run in front of you and here it scolding because you are near.


Listen for the rustle of leaves that could be a squirrel jumping from treetop to treetop looking for nuts.

 Squirrels hugging

Maybe you will catch a glimpse of a deer as it moves through the trees looking for acorns that have fallen to the ground!


Oh, can you hear it, the sound of water as it flows over rocks in a woodland stream. Large rocks, covered with moss. Imagine a pixie sitting on one of those mossy rocks dipping her toes in the cool flowing water!

Beautiful Stream

When you get back to your real life, things will not seem so bad and you will find yourself renewed with a feeling that you will be able to deal with whatever comes your way!

cindy murphy
10/10/2008 7:41:31 PM

That is certainly the kind of place I imagine, Lori, when I see the words 'enchanted forest'. Such a perfect spot. We are going "up-north" this week - renting a house in the woods on a secluded lake. I look forward to spending lots of time biking, roller-skiing, and kayaking, but also taking some time to just stop - really look and listen, and take it all in, as you described in your post.

10/9/2008 6:14:13 AM

Good morning Debbie and Cindy! Cindy, The stream that is in the picture you refer to was heavenly! I absolutely could have stretched out on one of those rocks and went to sleep! It isn't real far from where we live, and it is on private property. Although it is a popular place with a lot of local people, my hubby and I visited through the week on a vacation day. There was no one else around. It was so peaceful, with only the sounds of the woods around us! Debbie, We have had coyotes around here, but not many. I've seen maybe two that I can think of. Black bears are definitely our problem.

cindy murphy
10/8/2008 6:49:45 AM

Lori! I love your photos. The details are amazing; details so small you'd miss them unless you really took the time to look closely. And a lot of people don't always take the time - myself included. My favorite is the last picture. I would think it'd be impossible to be surrounded by that kind of serenity, and not leave the place without having the stress of the "outside world" lifted from your shoulders and feeling a renewed sense of tranquility. As a friend commented a while ago in response to one of my blog entries, "Thanks for the Calgon moment!" Enjoy your day.

10/8/2008 6:32:59 AM

Lori - What a Great post! Your pictures are out of this world wonderful and I do feel renewed just reading this :-) I saw your comment about the black bear; that's one animal we don't have in Illinois (at least not in my parts). I think coyotes are the villians around here - I am sure I will find out in the future! Thanks for the smiles this morning!!