Alone Again – Naturally…

Pam Pollock
February 2021

I’ll be upfront right off the bat – I have NEVER been an outdoors freak.  Do I enjoy nature? Yes, very much.  But I never felt the desire to be traipsing in the woods every day – until this past summer when the stress and worry about the Pandemic and the sorry state of our Country overwhelmed me and I sought refuge in a place that could offer me shelter and solace from the storms of life.  And… the woods and trails of Western Pennsylvania embraced me and threw me a lifeline.

I now get antsy if I can’t venture out every day.  Nothing makes me happier than to be lugging my big camera through the state parks, gamelands and the woods.  It’s always thrilling to find my beloved birds but many days I come up goose eggs [pun intended] on my quest and that’s okay.  Whenever I embark on my nature walks, I try to find something that makes me happy right off the bat and I take a photo of it.  Sometimes a bird is the first thing I see.  Other times it could be a leaf fluttering in the air or raindrops on a branch.  I love to see snow covered trees and the sunlight filtering through towering trees.

I am happiest when I can rise at dawn and begin my traipsing when there is not another human in sight.  Occasionally I will interrupt deer grazing or turkeys meandering about.  I feel compelled to apologize for infringing upon their home and their “quiet time”.  I once had a bear run across the road in front of me as I was driving home.

Lately I have been watching the Tundra Swans, Canada, Cackling and Greater White-fronted Geese and the many species of Gulls congregate on the iced ponds and lakes.  I have even watched Bald Eagles go fishing on the lakes.

And the air – ahhhhh… just breathing the fresh air invigorates my soul!  I can feel the stress rolling off my shoulders and I feel energized and ready to face the world once more. Sometimes I have a date with nature just before the sun begins to descend.  On a recent night, the moon was rising, and the trees were swaying, and I suddenly found myself standing in the midst of all of this beauty singing, “What a marvelous night for a moon dance!” My brief, shining respites have revealed that I am truly not alone – nature has been with me every step of the way – naturally…