|Halifax Public Gardens|
I don't know for you, but one of my favorite things about spring is the RETURN OF GREEN!
The budding leaves, the growing grass, and the great smells that now abound.
We are lucky enough to live in the middle of a forest, so the sights and smells and sounds of nature are omnipresent on a daily basis.
One of the things I noticed when I was in New York, last summer, was the lack of those natural sights, smells and sounds. There's Central Park, of course, but it's a minority who can afford to live close by, and it's still a human-made green area!
When I lived in Montreal (until 2007), that's one of the things I missed the most, having access to the wild on a daily basis. From a cultural (and multicultural) point of view, Montreal is a wonderful city, and it does have a few oasis of greenery (e.g. Mont Royal, Jardin Botanique, Parc Maisonneuve). Those are beautiful spots I visited on a regular basis, but I still had to take the car (or public transport, or a long walk), and it just wasn't the same as having the woods in your backyard.
The downside of living in the woods is the absolute lack of " civilized amenities" (like stores and restaurants) within walking distance, and the occasional threatening wildlife, but if I had to choose again I would pick the woods in a heartbeat. I can always go to town whenever I feel like it, but when night comes I retreat to my peaceful (and silent) home in the forest, where the skies are truly dark at night (perfect for star gazing!)
I used to think greenery was boring. My mom is a nature-lover and she certainly tried to share that passion with us. It eventually worked, but it took time. I remember complaining, as we were crossing Vermont on our way to South Carolina: "Trees, trees, and more trees! So much green! I'm booooored!"
I don't feel this way anymore. There is something magic about being surrounded by nature. Where I live now, if I step out in only a few steps I'm in the woods. I have my secret place where I go when I feel overwhelmed. I sit on a fallen tree and everywhere I look it's all green. I forget about my troubles, making one with Gaia for a moment.
We also have a trail and a lake and a brook within walking distance, soothing places we go as often as we can.
Those are our local green oasis, but even when away from home, I'm always on the lookout for some green.
|Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia|
|Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens, Nova Scotia|
|Mont Megantic, Quebec|
Overseas travelling is no different. Whether we're visiting the countryside or residing in the capitals, we always manage to find "the green spot". Some examples (photos all mine):
|Austria - Alps, 2009.|
|China - Beijing, 2010.|
|Croatia - Plitvice Lakes National Park, 2002.|
|England - Bath, 1999.|
|Greece - Acropolis, 1999.|
|Greece - Lykavittos Hill, 2012.|
|Greece - Knossos, 1999.|
|Closer view of an olive tree - Greece, 2012.|
|Italy - Positano, 1999.|
|Scotland - Isle of Skye, 2005.|
|It's green too! Scotland, 2005.|
|Switzerland - Alps, 1999.|
Really, one must admit that greenery makes beautiful pictures! Especially if you add a lovely subject:
Apart from the green, there are so many wonderful sounds in the woods these days, I couldn't refrain from sharing some with you!
1) In this one you can hear the thrush. Walks in the woods don't go without a certain level of adventure (or misadventure): I ate some spiderweb in the making of this video, and if you listen well, you'll hear a faint laugh after the camera vibrates... I had just fallen in a mud hole!
Do you have a green place you like to retreat to? What are your fondest memories of communion with nature? What's your favorite picture in this post?
And don't forget to eat your greens!!!