4 Outdoor Tips for Stay-at-Home
A great way to relieve pandemic stress and still comply with Ohio’s stay-at-home order is to enjoy some time outdoors. Here are some tips on how to do that.
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1. Explore your own backyard.
With playgrounds closed, backyards are a great place for kids to play and let their imaginations run wild. You might also be surprised to discover the wide range of plants and animals that call your yard home. Spend some time watching the birds, see if you can spot any of the insects that are starting to emerge, or even sit down in the grass and see how many different plant species make up your lawn.
2. Get out and enjoy the parks.
According to the stay-at-home order, “individuals can go to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas.” Fortunately, Clermont County has lots of great outdoor spaces to explore. Take some time to get to know our State Parks, East Fork State Park and Stonelick State Park. This would be a great time to make a goal of visiting all of the Clermont County Park District sites. Shor Park and Crooked Run Nature Preserve are two of my favorites. I’ve had good luck finding wildflowers at Kelley Nature Preserve and I’m told many bloom at Sycamore Park and are easily accessible along the All-Person Trail. Those who haven’t been there before, should check out Valley View in Milford, a compact site along the East Fork River featuring a variety of habitats. Valley View can be accessed off South Milford Road, behind Pattison Elementary.
3. Learn about local plants and wildlife.
Personally, I find that knowing what I’m looking at and understanding a bit of ecology really enhances my enjoyment of nature. So, whether you’re outdoors or observing out your windows, why not learn more about local plants and wildlife? The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has some great free resources. Check out their extensive field guide series, available to download as PDF files. You can access several wildlife guides, a Trees of Ohio guide, and the particularly timely Spring Wildflowers of Ohio guide.
4. Read about the outdoors.
Maybe you’re in a situation where it isn’t a good idea for you to be outside. If that’s the case, you can still enjoy reading about the natural world. Here are some books to check out.
Ranger Confidential – Andrea Lankford
For twelve years, Ranger Andrea Lankford worked a job she loved. She chaperoned baby sea turtles on their journey to sea, pursued bad guys on her galloping patrol horse, and jumped into rescue helicopters bound for the heart of the Grand Canyon. Fortunately, Andrea survived it. In this graphic and funny account, Lankford unveils a world in which park rangers struggle to protect the parks from the people, the people from the parks, and the people from each other.
Fastest Things on Wings: Rescuing Hummingbirds in Hollywood – Terry Masear
A leading hummingbird-rehabilitation therapist describes her work with dozens of remarkable varieties, including one bird that collided with a limousine before learning how to fly again.
Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail – Ben Montgomery
Drawing from Gatewood’s diaries, journals, and correspondence, documents the life of the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail alone in 1955 as well as her efforts to bring public attention to the once little-known footpath.
H is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald
Recounts how the author, an experienced falconer grieving the sudden death of her father, endeavored to train for the first time a dangerous goshawk predator as part of her personal recovery.
Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail and Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph – Jennifer Pharr Davis
Recounts the author’s four-month hike on the Appalachian Trail after she graduated college, including how she dealt with unexpected challenges, her interactions with other hikers, and the transformation of her personal outlook.
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating – Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Bedridden and suffering from a neurological disorder, the author recounts the profound effect on her life caused by a gift of a snail in a potted plant and shares the lessons learned from her new companion about the meaning of her life and the life of the small creature.
Relieve stress by enjoying the outdoors. What are you doing to combat stress?
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