Hide and seek mental health

Checking off a few talking points in favor of nature sanity walks:

  • Nature exposure increases serotonin, the content of depression medications
  • Nature exposure decreases levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that impedes focus, attention, higher level thinking, and problem-solving ability
  • Nature offers puzzles to solve, and excites curiosity
  • Nature decreases blood pressure
  • Nature improves cognitive restoration from attention fatigue

I wanted to keep moving, although there didn't seem to be gangs of vicious mosquitoes. There were some winged adult grasshoppers bigger than Little Smokies, though. Wasps. Lots of big black and reddish wasps. I do not like them Sam-I-Am. They didn't seem to care much about me, and they were always flying solo, but they set off my recoil response. Not going in for the close-up photo!

The main sound was the scritching of busy squirrel teeth on pecans. Sometimes the little fellas lost their grip, and pecans would splash down, down into the very shallow Rowlett Creek.

Debris from the Memorial Day flooding would be depressing if not for the reminder of the incredible power of moving water:

  • Carpet wrapped around a a log in the creek like a toga on a sarcophagus relief carving
  • Bright green garden hose tangled up around trees far from the normal creek
  • Lots of odd-shaped cut plywood pieces on the lam
  • Underbrush still wearing mud coatings like sprayed-on primer paint
  • Between trees the bent dead grasses show the direction of the flow
  • Scoured areas of dry, baked mud where nothing has grown 
  • Great snags of branches, sticks, styrofoam and plastic water bottles forming odd, ugly fences

Sad underwing catocala moths are less common on the southwest side of the creek, although I've never figured out why.

Grasshopper with flash

The camouflaged grasshopper was a surprise on the Willow Springs Trail. Tiny treasures decorated trunks, including dainty fungus ruffles around a giant gradually pulling up roots.
Leaning more everyday
The beaver is back in business, boys and girls.


The armadillo has moved on.
Sycamore H.S. cheerleaders decorated the gym for a pompom pep rally:

© 2014-2015 Nancy L. Ruder

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