senses put in order

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed,
and to have my senses put in order.”

John Burroughs

(shelf fungus / Julie Cook / 2019)

That quote by John Burroughs is so true is it not?
After any walk outside, out in nature…be it in the woods, through a meadow,
a ragged shoreline or a challenging mountain top…I always find myself at peace…
All worry and fret subsides…as that which is so much bigger, so much grander
than my mere self, has an enormous way of healing that which currently ailes my soul.

God is good like that.
Offering me the vast glory of His creation…

So it is no surprise that I love wandering in the woods especially this time of year…
It’s a time when I am not bothered by such things as spiders, snakes, or ticks.

No fears, no immediate worry as I can walk unimpeded—not fretting about where
I put my foot, as long as I avoid any and all stump holes—
those rotted out places in the ground, holes left gaping which are the remains of a dead tree…
such holes can be readily covered by the freshly fallen leaves and not immediately detected
by a mere glance downward.

Many a sprained ankle or even a break can happen when falling into such a hole.
I should know…thankful nothing ever broken…just usually sore and bruised.

And so I can hunt for those small wonders that still wait to be uncovered…
wonders that are not hibernating or buried deep within the ground waiting for Spring.

Shelf fungus and mushrooms are always a favorite to find as their shape, size, and colors
are usually most eye-catching.

Here are just a few from the other day…

(mildewed shelf fungus / Julie Cook / 2019)

(shelf fungus / Julie Cook / 2019)

(shelf fungus / Julie Cook / 2019)

(mushrooms, mushrooming out from under the crevis of a wooden bridge/ Julie Cook / 2019)

Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully,
he can learn more than what is in books,
for they speak with the voice of God.

George Washington Carver

there is a fungus among us

“Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.”
George Washington Carver

(photograph: a delightful, or rather deadly, little mushroom/ toadstool/ Troup County, GA/ Julie Cook/ 2013)

In this case, listening carefully can be done with either ears or eyes.

It was a glorious day. The sun was actually shining…a joyful sight indeed…. The giant, painfully white, fiery orb set off by the backdrop of a beautifully intense cloudless deep blue sky. I have to go back to April to remember when we actually last had a few consecutive days of sun without the torrential rains which have plagued us ever since…and then there is the humidity and temperature….what is this???
The humidity oddly low for August, as was the temperature….upper 70’s with the prediction to only reach the low 80’s today. A wonderful cool breeze…. this can’t be late August! Surely this isn’t Georgia in August?! This was Joy, plain and simple!!

We decided to take full advantage of the day! Sunday….a much needed day to worship, as well as a day to re-coop and re-group, all before starting the long 6 days (6 for my husband and his line of business)of work and school all over again. This day was a delightful excuse to head to the woods.

The four wheeler was loaded in the back of the truck as we headed south on the highway. We’ll use the four wheeler to traverse the dirt roads, the back roads, which will take us further back and further away from “the world”. We’ll then “park” the four wheeler in the shade of the trees as we hit the woods on foot. No worries, no troubles—just the sights and sounds of a precious undisturbed, true remaining forest.

“Don’t forget to spray” my husband warns. It might not feel like August and it might be a beautiful day for walking in the woods, yet this time of year, in the South, can be dangerous as well as deadly. We spray our boots and pant legs hoping to avoid the horde of seed ticks and the larger adults. Lyme disease, Rocky Mt spotted tick fever, you name it, I don’t want it. The other concern is for the rash of poisonous snake bites that have been prolific in Georgia this summer. Spray can’t keep the snakes at bay, only a good set of eyes and ears…. I was not comforted finding two sets of shed rattles when we stopped and got off the four wheeler.

My husband was busy with trail cameras. Obviously this was not just a fun little jaunt to the woods–there was serious business to attend to…such as placing trail cameras strategically throughout the woods, hoping to catch a glimpse or two of that all elusive trophy deer. For him, it’s serious business; for me, it’s pure enjoyment—

…So imagine my delight as I wandered off from the serious business of picking the perfect tree to tie a camera to….. simply to amble my way aimlessly deep into a wooded glen. With the dead leaves crunching crisply underfoot, I suddenly get a sense of a change of season—is Fall a slightly bit closer? Is that what I sense or rather “feel” in the air?? Do I see a slight tinge to the myriad of leaves overhead?

Whether you call it Fall or Autumn, either way, it is a time of year which beckons me back outside after months of dodging “the heat of the day” or as was the case this summer, the constant deluge of rain. It is a time that sends me in search of apples for the baking of pies and the making of cider…not to mention the beautiful colors which engulf my world—a palette of soft warm tones swirling about my head. There is a quickened up beat in my step after months of simply and lazily dragging my feet through the damp fresh mowed grass—-change is at hand and I can feel it!

I see that the long term forecast has the temperatures climbing back up towards the 90’s by week’s end—more like August I suppose. For today, however, I will bask in the possibilities of what will soon be—cool, crisp air, clear blue skies, falling leaves, muted tones…and pumpkins!

On this new day to this new week, rejoice in the possibilities, think of what will be, look closely around you for the signs of change. And if at all possible, get outside in order to enjoy the tail end of summer…before we know it, we’ll be talking turkey …..Happy week….