Birds. I love them. I love to watch them fly in and out of the yard, flit around in the birdbath, select their favorite seed, and make their sweet little nests. We have different visitors in different seasons, even here in Texas, where the seasons aren’t as pronounced as in other parts of the country. This time of year, still Winter, but looking toward the Spring, we begin to prepare for Spring arrivals. We clean out the hummingbird feeders and bluebird houses, we watch wrens and warblers, cardinals and doves, mockingbirds and woodpeckers do their bird-things as they too prepare.
I find myself, itching more this year than in years past, to re-arrange the furniture, to buy new throw pillows and table runners, to do a little Spring cleaning. I am SO VERY READY for the next season. I know this Spring still means mask-wearing and social-distancing, but I am hopeful that it also means stepping a little more back into the world. I am ready to spread my wings and fly right out of this house and into the arms of my family and friends.
One of the most beautiful, peaceful, and reassuring places to be, outside of the loving arms of another, is nature. By the water, among the trees, under the sky. I find it bathes me, it hugs me in, and I offer myself up to it. Research tells me the value of nature on our being and in our development—as children, youth and adults. The value in nature is more pronounced to me now than ever. And during this slow approach back into the world, as we open our summer camps back up welcoming youth to the beauty of the 223–acre camp along the Brazos River that is El Tesoro; as we engage school-age children in learning about natural sciences; as we encourage the curiosity of young children to blossom during outdoor discovery and garden-making, I am grateful. I sigh just at the thought of it, and I welcome the Spring.
Here are a few places to visit and ways to experience nature this Spring:
Places to go. Things to do.
The obvious: walk, hike, playground, fish, boat, camp, frisbee, kite, bike.
The less obvious: spread a blanket and read/picnic/bring a ball, paint, make a book of what you see, color outside, nap, play cards or a board game, go on a scavenger hunt–how many different variations of the color green can you find?
Here are great destinations in the metroplex and beyond: