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Get up-close and personal with wildlife
How to take a closer look at wildlife near your home

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In the heart of the Smokies
Find out how to feel the true essence of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

WALK THIS WAY
Free City Walks around Seattle

Come walk with us. We are leading free fun and interesting urban nature walks in the greater Seattle area. Our next walk is on December 10 at 4 pm in the Roosevelt and Ravenna neighborhoods. This is a special evening holiday walk that includes a stroll through Candy Cane Lane! Get all the details here.

To get our walk announcements delivered right to your in box, subscribe in box on the left side of this page. Share with your friends. They are free and fun!

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Ten ways to flourish this fall

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A Sweet Little Guide to Nature Me For You

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A Simple Way to FEEL MORE JOY in your life

© Cary Given/Given Photography 2016

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Journal Archive
Sunday
Nov202016

Join us for a special evening holiday walk on December 10 through Candy Cane Lane in the Ravenna - Roosevelt neighborhood

Bridge crossing ravine in Ravenna Park

To get all the details about our next special evening holiday walk on December 10, 2016, click the link below.

Candy Cane Lane in the Ravenna - Roosevelt neighborhood. Includes Ravenna Park!

Friday
Sep162016

Create your own morning ritual for a beautiful start to your day

I created my own morning ritual about 14 years ago and it is now an amazing grounding force in my life. I started with journaling and a cup of coffee each morning for about 15 minutes. Over the years I switched to herb tea, added meditation, added a homemade green smoothie and within the last few months, professional daily writing. My morning ritual has grown to about an hour and a half. I do have the luxury of writing at home, but when I was working out of the house, I gave myself extra time by getting up earlier. It was worth every minute.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug302016

Join us for our next Seattle City Walk through Discovery Park

To get all the details about our next urban nature walk on September 10, 2016, click the link below.

Discovery Park walk

Monday
Aug012016

Nine cool ideas for your summer days

Summer has a wonderful energy. The season's long days and warm temperatures give you plenty of time for the outdoors. Ranging from a vigorous hike to a fun day at the lake to lazing around in a lounge chair with a good book to an outdoor concert, the choices are ample. For many of you it's tempting to fill the weeks with lots of exciting experiences. But, I guarantee you will enjoy the summer much more if you slow your pace a little and build a balance between exciting and relaxing activities. Taking it easy during the summer can be just as delightful as an adventurous outing. You can do both. So mix it up. Here are nine summery activities to enjoy.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul292016

Join us for our next Seattle city walk through Sunset Hill neighborhood, Golden Gardens Park and Ballard Marina

 

To get all the details about our next summer walk on Saturday August 13, 2016, click the link below.

Sunset Hill neighborhood, Golden Gardens park and Ballard Marina summer walk

Sunday
Jun262016

Join us for our next Seattle city walk in the Eastlake Neighborhood and south area of Lake Union

To get all the details about our next urban nature walk on Saturday, July 9, 2016, click the link below. 

Eastlake neighborhood and south area of Lake Union Seattle walk

Saturday
Jun182016

Happy Summer Solstice: Feel the inspiring energy of summer

I love summer. The season always feels so sweet, uplifting and, best of all, FUN. And for those of us in the northern hemisphere, it's just beginning. Late night walks and talks, backyard barbecues and fires, early morning light with coffee on the deck, abundant flowers, patio dates, summer concerts, last minute getaways, outdoor workouts and so much more. The inspiring energy of this season is heightened by spending time in nature. Open up to it and you will find that summer is filled with new light and beauty.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May212016

Join us for our Next Seattle city walk along Alki Beach in the West Seattle Neighborhood 

To sign up and get all the details about our next urban nature walk on Saturday June 4, 2016, click the link below. 

Alki Beach walk in West Seattle

Monday
Apr112016

Explore a park this SPRING

Moss and tiny rock flowers cover wet canyon walls in the Columbia Gorge
I just got back from a few days in the Columbia Gorge, one of the most lush natural areas in the Pacific Northwest.

I returned home believing that exploring a park or some other natural area might be the next best thing you can do for yourself this spring. Here is a bit of description about our recent excursion to the Columbia Gorge. 

We were hiking uphill through a beautiful canyon in one of the many Columbia Gorge parks, located just east of Portland, Oregon. It's an outstanding natural area of towering cliffs, canyons and waterfalls.

As I climbed, I was charmed by the bright green moss and tiny rock flowers that covered dripping canyon walls. The sweet smell of spring infused the air. Splashing water from waterfalls and rivers generated abundant amounts of magical little negative ions. I took deep breaths to get all of their mood-lifting benefits. Strands of sunlit moss dangled from every tree branch. Signs of new life were everywhere and the spring energy was palpable. I couldn't get enough!

Whether it's a few hours or a few days, tap into your sense of adventure and start planning your next excursion. Spring will welcome you.

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More from Nature Me

TAKE A BEACH WALK WITH US
Join our next Nature me group walk as we explore Alki Beach and surrounding neighborhood on June 4. It's always a fun time and we end our walks with lunch at a cool urban restaurant. I'll post more details about where to meet and how to sign up here on the blog soon, but in the meantime save the date --June 4th at 10 am.  

LEARN ABOUT MOOD ENHANCING NEGATIVE IONS
Something's in the air and it ain't love 

VISIT OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
Discover the Secrets of Olympic National Park's Seashore

PICK A SEATTLE URBAN PARK TO EXPLORE
Find a park you might like to explore from the Puget Sound Urban Nature Series

RICHMOND BEACH SALTWATER PARK
  -Love the dune grass

 WASHINGTON PARK ARBORETUM 
  -Beauty for you

GREEN LAKE PARK
  -Well-loved by Seattleites

VOLUNTEER PARK
  -A jewel in the midst

KUBOTA GARDEN PARK
  -Paradise in Seattle 

BELLEVUE BOTANICAL GARDEN
  -Get inspired

CARKEEK PARK
  -A sound view

MUKILTEO LIGHTHOUSE PARK
  -Beaching it on the Puget Sound  

ENHANCE YOUR PARK VIST
LEARN HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF AN URBAN PARK VISIT
   -Six easy steps

SEND ME YOUR SUGGESTIONS
I'm continually exploring and writing about Puget Sound urban parks...what parks would you like to explore? Leave your suggestions for articles in the comments below or send me an email.

JOIN OUR NEW FACEBOOK COMMUNITY FOR IDEAS ON WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO DO

We have a new private FACEBOOK GROUP for Nature Me. You can post nature related photos, articles, reports, tips and questions. Share your personal experiences and stories. Suggest places to go and what to do in nature. Just click on the link below to check it out and join.

Facebook Group Nature Me Community 

Monday
Mar282016

Join us for our next Seattle city spring walk in Volunteer Park and Harvard-Belmont historic neighborhood 

Lemon tree inside Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle Washington

To sign up and get all the details about our next urban nature walk on Saturday April 16, 2016, click the link below. 

Volunteer Park and Harvard-Belmont historic neighborhood walk. 

Tuesday
Mar222016

11 ways to embrace spring

Cherry and Oregon Crab Apple trees. © 2016 Curt Given/ Given PhotographySpring is so invigorating. The season is naturally filled with signs of birth, renewal, and newness. You can't help but feel inspired to try something new. Change things up. Get outside. Start that new outdoor project. Here are eleven spring experiences to get your creativity flowing.

1. Take an early morning walk often. It's when wildlife is the most active. Birds are calling for their would-be mates and easy to spot in their brightly colored mating feathers. Tiny mammals are eating the fresh greens along side roads and pathways. And the crisp air feels so good. Walk at least weekly and notice the changes.

2. Look for old bird nests. Trees are just beginning to leaf out, so you have plenty of time to look for old birds nests. This will give you a jump on where birds will be nesting this year. They are so fun to watch when nesting. You can see them tirelessly rebuild their nest with umpteen trips, their beaks filled with grasses and leaves. Soon you will catch glimpses of babies and hear their peeps. In our area near the Ballard Locks there is an amazing Great Blue Heron rookery. You can see, hear and smell the adults as they refurbish their nests and feed their babies throughout the spring. Always an awe-inspiring site that will capture your interest for a long time.

3. Find a wetland. These nutrient rich areas are home to many critters. You can see herons, muskrats, marsh wrens, minks, weasels, ducks, geese and blackbirds to name a few. We have a favorite day-trip from the Seattle area just past the Canadian Border. It's the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. A springtime visit to this sanctuary is well worth the trip. Here is a link to an article I wrote for Parent Map that describes all the details and how to get there. Put it on your list of outings. You will love it. Article link: Winging it! A great family getawy that's for the birds

4. Explore a riverfront trail. Last week while I walked along a riverfront trail, I saw Canada geese, a pileated woodpecker, squirrels, hummingbirds and a snake...all within about an hour. River otters are common in rivers, too and I've seen them many times. I'm always amused to watch as they play, swim and tumble back and forth between the river bank and water. You can look for their burrows and holes in the river bank. The teaming life along a river can be quite captivating in a short amount of time. 

5. Notice trees, shrubs and flowers. Use a field guide to identify plants. Or take a picture and look up online. Changes are daily now and it's fun to track plant growth. Are they leafing out or still dormant. What shape and color are the leaves? Do they still have their winter fruit? Are flowers starting to bud or even bloom? Where are green shoots coming up? Try to name the flowers and trees.

6. Note how spring makes you feel. Do you feel more energy than usual? Take advantage of the inspiring energy to start something new or clear out some old stuff. This can be either internal or external. For example, start a new meditation or walking routine. Or, clear the clutter from an area of your house. The rhythm and energy of the spring season make new starts easier.

7. Listen and watch for birds. Carry a small field guide with you to identify the birds you see and hear. Or use Ibird Pro, which is a great app to help you ID them while in the field. Notice the birds that are showing off their spring plumage.

8. Track the weather. Is it still cold enough for a hat? Is the rain or frost keeping you inside? If you do any traveling note the differences in temperatures. I was on the eastern side of the state last week and definitely needed hat and gloves for an early morning walk. Are the days fluctuating between warm and cold or gradually getting warmer? Is frost still evident in the early morning? It's fun to notice the changes and helps you immerse yourself into the rhythm of the season. 

9. Embrace the season. Find a natural place you like and note all of the characteristics that are related to spring. Then plan to visit it often during the season and track the changes. Then take it a step further and visit the same place each season to note the difference. You will learn how every season has its own kind of beauty. 

10. Sit in the sun. Its energy is important for our health in so many ways. Bask in its warmth and remember the sun's vital importance to all living things.

11. See nature as your playground. Your playground can be anything from a local park to a wilderness area to your own backyard. Be curious. Explore. Look closely at everything. Immerse yourself in the mystery and beauty of mother nature as people have done for thousands of years. You will find nature illuminating in so many ways.   

What are some of your favorite ways to embrace spring? Are you working in your garden? Planting new shrubs? Or, maybe taking a spring vacation to a sunny spot? We want to know so share with us! And if you feel so inclined, please click the button below to share with others. 

Happy spring!!

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Below are links to more spring ideas and activities!

Earth love

Add a little spring to your day

Somethings in the air

Get inspired at Bellevue Botanical Gardens

Friday
Feb192016

Seattle City Walk - Madison Park on March 6, 2016 

Come walk with us! We are leading free urban nature walks around Seattle. We've got a new walk planned for Madison Park on March 6, 2016. 

Description:

This urban nature walk takes in all of the upscale beauty and charm of the Madison Park neighborhood. You'll get great views of Lake Washington, a look at the eclectic mix of shops and restaurants that border Madison avenue and a nice walk through this peaceful neighborhood of beautiful homes with amazing landscapes.

Our walking trail parallels Lake Washington, heading south from Madison Park to Madrona Park. It's about 4 miles round trip. Depending on our pace and stops along the way, it will take approximately 2.5 hours. The terrain is mostly asphalt, so wear comfy walking shoes. 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb032016

One darn good reason to get up early!

Yellowstone River, © Curt Given/ Given Photography 2016Sometimes it's good to get up early. But given the choice for most of us, the soft sheets, warm cozy blankets and lull of sleep make it way more appealing to stay under the covers. And if it's still dark outside when your alarm goes off...it's even more challenging to get out of bed.

Here's one good reason to get up early...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan122016

Seattle City Walk - Queen Anne Hill and Kerry Park on January 30, 2016

Come walk with us. We are leading free urban nature walks around Seattle. Our next Queen Anne Hill city walk is on January 30, 2016 and includes the iconic Kerry Park. 

Description:

We've designed an urban walk that explores the distinct Queen Anne Hill neighborhood with its grand homes, charming parks and scenic views of Seattle, Lake Union and Puget Sound. 

A unique mix of remarkable homes, old stairways, local parks and urban cafes make up this prominent neighborhood.

 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec312015

WINTER. Profoundly beautiful...going deep for a new year


Frost and Forest. © Curt Given/Given Photography 2015

Winter in Mount Baker National Forest. © Cary Given/Given Photography 2015

Hawk Owl. © Cary Given/Given Photography 2015

Ice on Cle Elum Lake, Washington. © Curt Given/Given Photography 2015

Queen Elizabeth Range. © Cary Given/Given Photography 2015