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Connected by natural rhythms

Notes from the North Woods

Although the local lakes and ponds have shed winter’s cover of ice, there are still pockets of ice and snow in the upper elevations, especially along shaded sections of mountain streams.

Although the local lakes and ponds have shed winter’s cover of ice, there are still pockets of ice and snow in the upper elevations, especially along shaded sections of mountain streams. Photo by Joe Hackett.

Although snowmelt and heavy rains have already swollen the rivers and streams several times, the local waters are now very manageable for wading, and paddling.

After a few days with air temperatures in the 70’s, the rivers will likely turn on and we’ll begin to see some of the first hatches of the season.

The spring season is always a good time to be on the water, whether in a canoe, a boat or in a pair of waders. Having a fishing rod in hand is simply a bonus, and for many a camera or a pair of binoculars serves the same purpose as long as it gets us out in the natural environment.

Nature is the Wonder Drug

There are many reasons to explain why humans always feel better in the spring. Much of it involves the lengthening hours of daylight, and the benefits of increasing sunlight, which provides Vitamin D.

The weather becomes warmer, the days are longer and the rebirth of the earth is evident across the entire landscape. But it isn’t just the physical aspects of the season that have people feeling better.

In many cases, it is the natural world which is likewise coming out of hibernation, and as we view the daily arrival of birds, bugs, and animals, the greening of the grass and the budding of the surrounding forests, it affects our psyche.

Simply put, we feel better both physically and mentally. Increasingly, there is growing scientific evidence that being exposed to and in contact with the natural environment makes us smarter, happier and healthier, and it’s never been more evident than in the spring.

Scientists and physicians are slowly beginning to recognize and understand the essential impacts of nature on human health. They have come to understand that the outdoors is ‘big medicine,’ which is not really recent news to many of the world’s aboriginal peoples.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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