The Gift of Nature
12/23/2012 9:39 AM
It is during this season, as we leave the old year behind and look to the new that we reflect back on the last year. It is a time filled with friends, family, and food. The sound of music fills the air with a multitude of parties and community gatherings. Adding to the chorus are the squeals of children as they spy on the brightly wrapped packages that begin to appear in the living room.
For much of my life I focused on these gifts. The hidden treasure that I would find in the shining packages filled with sweets and toys. As I grew older however I began to think of all of the other gifts that we have in our lives, the people who fill our lives with love, the opportunities in our communities and world, and the gift of nature.
A Wrapping of Green
For me there is no better gift than that of nature. Looking out my window at the deep green of trees I am reminded of how lucky we are to have our natural world, and how lucky I am to live here in the Pacific Northwest, an area filled with so much natural wonder that it makes my heart skip a beat to think about it. From the high peaks of the Cascades to the lowland forests we are incredibly luck to have all that we do here in the Pacific Northwest.
Working at SHADOW gives me the opportunity to explore the fascinating and wonderful ecosystem in our bog. Yesterday the thick layer of grey broke apart for a few hours, leaving the bog sparkling in the rare light. Not one to pass up an opportunity to get out into the sun I hit the trail, following the boardwalk through the forest, weaving my way through trees.
There is so much to do each day that we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. Stepping out into nature is one of the best ways to remove yourself from that stress and enjoy the splendor of the world around us. There is a tangible change in the air when entering into the bog. It is cool and calm with a light dampness. The sunlight glances through the canopy of needles above, catching on the droplets of water clinging to the needles, illuminating them like small diamonds. Below the rolling moss covered hummocks seem like fluffy green pillows.
More Valuable Than Diamonds
Wrapped in some packages the sparkle of diamonds await the recipient. Their shining value pales in comparison to the value of wetlands like our bog. The gifts provided us by the SHADOW bog, and other wetlands are more than simply the calming beauty of the land. Bogs, which are a type of wetland, provide many different ecosystem services like cleaning our water, holding excess flood water, and providing important habitat for wildlife like amphibians and birds.
Because of all that they do for us wetlands are some of the most valuable pieces of land. SHADOW works hard to protect this area so that our community can enjoy the many benefits of the bog. Come visit us and find out for yourself. Walk along the boardwalk and see the beauty of the land and learn about its importance in our community.