Just three blocks away from our house sits Hamblen Park, a natural area that comprises two rectangular blocks south of 37th Avenue. The park is crisscrossed with trails regularly used by folks walking their dogs, as well as by kids on dirt bikes jumping their self-styled ramps. Partly out of the desire to avoid too much dog socialization, and partly out of habit, we too often walk around the park instead of venturing through it. Lately we've changed our habit.
This afternoon I sauntered out with the dogs, and took my camera along. The light wasn't the best - we've been having "springlike" weather, which means being attracted outside by brilliant
sunshine, only to have it rain by the time you change your shoes - but I snapped some photos anyway. The little park is vibrant with native wildflowers, including the ubiquitous yellow arrowleaf balsamroot. Above the yellow carpet stand the syringa, lifting their delicate, white blossoms and sweet scent. Above it all, reaching for the broken clouds and fleeting blue sky stand the Ponderosa pines.
In the undergrowth you might see Valley Quail, quiet for a change as they creep through the grass to safety from the dogs.
I read an article at BBC.com this week detailing how even brief periods of exercise in a park or other "green" setting can boost your mental health. It sure works for me! So how about you? Find your spot, and tell me about it. Or just find it. Knowing you're doing well is good enough for me.