Heather's Hangout

Sharing the people, places & little moments that make a difference.

5 favorite activities that spring brings May 7, 2017

HH_hike42017

Love hiking in the woods!

The spring weather is slowly trying to make a steady presence in Michigan. The temps have been a sporadic but I’m grateful for the days filled with sunshine and mild temperatures. I’m loving that the days are staying lighter longer. More time to play outside after work and on the weekends!

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With spring comes opportunities to participate in some of my favorite activities. Here are few that I enjoy. What are some of your favorite spring/nice weather activities?

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Biking. I love being on a bike. Whether it’s my road bike or mountain bike, I enjoy the ability to explore the area on a bike. From the physical rush to the mental clearing of my mind to great views to the simple joy of feeling the strength of my legs, biking is definitely a favorite activity. Our mild winter let me get several rides in even during traditional winter months, but it’s much nicer to bike in sunshine and warming temps!

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Hiking. Nothing chills me out faster than spending time on the trails, surrounded by trees, plants and friendly animals. It’s such great physical exercise and mental relaxation, but rarely feels like either since I’m usually enjoying myself so much.

geocachecanister

Logged this geocache find!

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Geocaching. This GPS outdoor scavenger hunt is a fun past time to do with friends, family, or alone when I have some time to spare. I especially love taking my nieces and nephew on this treasure hunt and also logging a cache when I visit new places.

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Gardening. It’s not quite warm enough to plant flowers but it’s soooo close! I’m getting excited to plant bright flowers in my new pots and put them on the porch and deck. Flowers always bring a smile to my face.

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Grilling. Yes, I know that many people grill year-round, even in the snow and cold. But…..I don’t! I have a great new grill that will be often used to make yummy vegetables, burgers, chicken, and much more to enjoy while eating on the deck.

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Every day should be Earth Day April 22, 2012

Sharing Earth with all creatures!

Today is recognized as Earth Day, a day to celebrate the planet we live on, recognize how we affect limited resources found on our planet, appreciate nature and take time to do a project that makes Earth a little nicer. Personally, I think every day should be Earth Day, and every day we should get outdoors, be active and do something to make the outdoors and world around a little nicer. After all, we live here and it’s not just our home, but our neighbors, both human and animal.

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While there are many organized activities celebrating Earth Day this weekend, you can plan your own activity, which doesn’t have to happen today. Any day can be Earth Day if it gets you outdoors and enjoying nature!

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I love being in nature, whether walking, biking, hiking. Fresh air makes me feel rejuvenated. Sometimes I enjoy the solitude, mostly I enjoy good company. There is something about being in nature with others that starts good, random conversation. I’ve posted before about some of my favorite spots to hike, bike and camp. Enjoying the Earth doesn’t even require you to go far – it could be your own yard.

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I spent several hours this weekend working in the gardens, readying the beds for planting bright flowers and vegetables.

Flowers make me happy!

It was a muscle-invoked task trying to take back the gardens from the huge, thick weeds that sprouted up during our mild winter and unseasonably warm spring. After filling three big yard bags, I was pretty pleased with the progress and ready to plant (a few more weeks)! It made me feel great, both physically and emotionally, to feel the sunshine, soft breeze, and appreciate my surroundings (including a fat rabbit sitting across the yard).

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If gardening isn’t your thing or not an option for you, no worries. There is so much to do outdoors, no matter where you live, whether it’s playing in your backyard, a picnic at a local park, biking through the neighborhood or on bike trails, walking the beach or orienteering. If you want company, but don’t know anyone who enjoys your outdoor interest, check out local outdoor clubs. There are a lot, especially in Michigan. Meetup is a good place to search online as you can look via keywords, like hiking, singles, women, tennis, outdoor, etc.

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With the right company, it's always fun to be outdoors!

If you’re interesting in volunteering your time to help nature (everyone should!), there are many nonprofits and organizations that welcome assistance. A web search will lead to many choices. I noticed that REI has a page on their website with local volunteer opportunities that span across interests. Most parks and communities also have projects where volunteers are needed.

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Even if you’re thinking you’re not really ‘outdoorsy’ per se, we all like the outdoors. Whether you prefer to sit on a beach, backpack through the woods, bike through your city, read a book on the deck or swing a club on the golf course, we all need to take care of our planet. It’s the only one we have. And you can start by making certain you recycle in your house and at work. Once you get into the routine, it’s very easy to rinse and recycle cans, paper, plastic and more.

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There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day every day and I hope you’ll choose to enjoy every day with ‘Mother Earth’ in mind. What ideas do you have?

 

 
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