Warner Wildflowers, mid-March part 2

A short walk on the Mossy Ridge at Warner Park is good medicine.

I never say Nature is for Healing, because “Nature” is not here to make people feel better. “Nature” has every right to exist for its own mysterious, necessary, world-turning processes.

BUT, I do say that paying attention to the natural world can mitigate some humans ills, and one of them is anxiety.

toothwort (Cardamine concatenata)

Bonus: our solo walks in the woods conform to Social Distancing guidelines. No one can sneeze on us, and we don’t touch anything but rocks and moss . . . and petals and leaves and tree buds . . . and acorns and bark.
Okay, my family touches everything but poison ivy (still leafless at the moment but with telltale cinnamon-colored buds)
and nettle (not common, but my kid met a patch last week and the stings hurt for 3 days).

Lousewort / Canadian wood betony (Pedicularis canadensis)
Virginia saxifrage (Micracanthes virginiensis)
Lousewort again. There’s a huge patch of it under an old beech tree.
Apple moss (Bartramia pomiformis)  Apples for LEGO minifigs…
Pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia)
Common hackberry bark (Celtis occidentalis)
a perfect exoskeleton of an annual cicada, right next to the trail

And if you don’t happen to have a 3,000 acre Metro park to mess about in, remember that Sidewalk Nature is also Nature.
It can be as therapeutic and immersive, if not as grand.

This blog and my Instagram feed are dedicated to Sidewalk Nature. It’s what’s here with us, so we might as well Look Around.



4 thoughts on “Warner Wildflowers, mid-March part 2

  1. This post was instantaneously helpful to this anxiety-ridden Israelite. With my gym closed, I’ll be walking every sidewalk in Hell, Creation, and Queens (in that order) to get enough exercise to manufacture enough endorphins and dopamine to keep the mulligrubs at a reasonable physiopsychological distance. Heeding the call to “Look around” will make the “happy hormone” flow like Manischewitz concord grape at a dipsomaniac’s Seder.

    1. Oh, Mr. Bill, I hear you. And don’t forget you’ve got the amazing NYC Tree Map if you are curious about a particular sidewalk tree. Hope you can find lots of low branches too stare at (over your glasses) to see budburst in action (during your endorphin / dopamine-bursts). And for heaven’s sake, look down, too: I recently fell off the sidewalk while staring up at a tree…

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