As much as we love getting out in the woods in all kinds of weather, I must admit, when there is a 34 degree wind chill with rain, I don’t get very excited. I usually quickly try to justify staying inside with an extra cup of coffee where it’s warm and cozy. Luckily, I was slightly more motivated yesterday after having just read an article that highlighted Frances Ming Kuo’s research that sites the positive link between nature and human health, and social and psychological functioning. Kuo uses the phrase “Vitamin G” (G for “green”) to illustrate nature’s role as a necessary ingredient for a healthy life. There is so much evidence that suggests that, like a vitamin, contact with nature and green environments is needed in frequent, regular doses. Vitamin “G” is essential! Into the woods we marched yesterday morning searching for and soaking up some Vitamin "G"! The morning was damp, squishy and unseasonably cool as we headed out into the woods for our planned wild edible and caterpillar hunt and hike. All along our hike we saw wild leeks, also known as ramps. In a patch of ramps we stopped for a mini lesson on the importance of sustainably harvesting ramps.
As we meandered down toward the creek, some of us stopped to nibble on trout lily and violets. By mid-day, the sun was peeking through the clouds and the kids were completely immersed in imaginary play. The discovery of a crayfish and later a baby frog, were welcomed interruptions. We left our hike with a nice dose of "Vitamin G"...just enough to get us through until our next adventure.