Over the course of the last 15 months or so, during the forced isolation imposed by the COVID pandemic, many of us have spent most of our time in front of screens: TV, phones, tablets and laptops as we shifted to work and school from home. As the nation begins to get vaccinated and emerge from the pandemic it’s definitely time to get outdoors.
The benefits of time spent in nature are many and have been well-documented by science. Both children and adults can see improved aerobic and muscular fitness, decreased risk of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, improved balance and joint mobility as well as improved memory and mood. The sounds of wind in the leaves or water moving over rocks can be calming as well as serving to increase our attention span and improving sleep patterns when we come back inside.
Given all these benefits, let’s get outdoors! One easy way to increase your time in nature is to just take a walk in the woods. Here at Bucks Audubon we have miles and miles of well-marked trails for your enjoyment from easy grassy trails to slightly challenging rocky trails. Your leashed dog is welcome to accompany you, provided you clean up after your pet.
Another option is to put on your water shoes or boots and explore our creek, in the creek! Turn over a rock or two (but put it back the way you found it) and see if you can spot a crayfish or a salamander. Maybe there’s a frog along the bank hunting for insects or some minnows in the deeper pools.
There are some decent sized fish in our pond to try your angling skills, but please catch and release so others may have the same opportunity.
Bird and wildlife watching in the early morning or evening dusk hours is usually rewarded with any number of the over 100 species of birds seen here or perhaps a fox, white-tailed deer or even a coyote! Mid-day you can enjoy the sight of our painted turtles basking in the sun on Audubon pond.
Any of these options are available to you, for free, dawn to dusk every day! Donations are, of course welcome.
If you prefer a little more structure to your outdoor activity or just want a little guidance, we have Saturday morning bird walks twice a month at 8 am, and at least one family oriented event each month. Just check our calendar at BCAS.org
Remember, National Trails Day is June 5 and National Get Outdoors day is June 12, so grab your activity-appropriate shoes, your sunscreen and hat and enjoy the outdoors!