The first time I heard the term “forest bathing” there was an exaggerated eye roll and a muttering about new-age yuppie nonsense. But it turns out that I go forest bathing all the time. It’s called a nice long walk in the woods by myself. Today I did just that. And what a walk! It was a perfect spring day in my Boston suburb. The sun was out with a slight breeze, low 70s. Almost as soon as I entered the Town Forest, a hundred acre oasis just down the street from me, nature started putting on a show. Red-winged black birds were calling from the fringing freshwater wetland. A pair of cardinals flirted along the trail. A common flicker stared me down at eye level from a forked tree trailside. Then I heard a rustling in the leaves. I thought I’d spy a little garter snake, but instead it was a very busy mole. Then a Baltimore oriole flew across the trail in front of me, a brilliant splash of fiery orange against the new green of the leaves. It was quiet for a while after that first flurry of activity. I just enjoyed the solitude and the smell of the newly unrolled ferns. I meandered from this trail to that for an hour or so, occasionally getting scolded by a chipmunk and listening to the calls of chickadees and a couple of spring peepers. Towards the end of my walk I passed a man and his dog. Not long after a coyote ran across the trail and up into the forest. I assume it was spying on the dog and then was startled by me. It ran through the underbrush so quickly and with such agility. Blending well with the environment. If it hadn’t made so much noise on all the dead leaf litter, I never would have seen it.
Commentary on environmental news/issues plus thoughts and stories about my journey to lower my environmental footprint and raise my voice.
-Another vegan environmentalist