Amidst it All

Catching Up

Greetings! I sincerely hope that whomever is reading this blog post is well. It has been around a full year since my last post. Sometimes the days just fly by. Not unlike everyone else in the United States–and abroad–I have been been experiencing a quite different lifestyle than this time last year. Last year (and prior years) have had the privilege of heading off to trails and other adventures on a regular basis. My only fear at that point was the remote possibility of encountering a bear and her cubs being surprised by my sudden presence in a quite woodland. Or perhaps an injury.

Now, as social distancing is required (though I am still not convinced that 6 feet is enough), I have been a bit more hesitant to head out to the trails I love (and of course, many others too). I have even been hesitant to drive; drivers have gone rogue–completely bypassing all sense of decency. Here in Michigan, the stay-at-home order is currently being enforced. Although, the exception is the ability to exercise and enjoy the outdoors responsibly (plus essential travel to get food/medicine). Even then, I am still hesitant to leave the yard. I have seen firsthand so many people continuing on as if the virus is not real: “not here in Traverse City” seems to be the mentality. Though glimmers of hope exist. Some have been using masks and gloves when required. Thank you.

Thus my hesitation to even leave the yard. This needs to be taken seriously. Seriously. As the days have gone by, I have yearned to be able to wander with a carefree spirit. Not something I can do in the Roman-inspired streets that make up immediate area. Fortunately, I have options. My trusty bicycle can take me places. It can take me places that are often forgotten. I can head out to the woods and feel safe. And be safe. Right in town. No mask. No gloves (aside from those to keep my digits warm).

A Spring Chorus

Rain and snow. Take it or leave it. When it comes, many head in…and I head out. It affords me the luxury of travelling the local TART Trail completely alone. The ideal scenario in today’s world. No worries to be had. When I arrived at the trail head, not one soul in sight. I had the trail all to myself . Well, aside from all those rascals the spring peepers. I rejoiced in this. I would have never guessed to hear them so early in the season. They were right underfoot, but as always, they evaded me at every turn. Preserves are a precious asset to any community, human or otherwise.

The hike was wondrous–surreal. It was too good to be true. Snow fell in gently to the ground in feather-like swirls. The spring peepers performing their annual symphony.  I felt at ease. My boots traversed the terrain with confidence. My Olympus camera was reliable as always. My only regret? Not bringing a mug of hot coffee to sip while pondering aside a hypnotic stream bed. Next time perhaps.

I do not have too many words today. Pictures are worth a thousand words (at least a couple hundred perhaps). Enjoy the images below that follow.

Location: Reffitt Nature Preserve

Camera: Olympus SP-570 UZ

Reffitt Nature Preserve is awash in vernal pools–home to those rascals, the Spring Peepers. (Image copyright The Wilderness Journal 2020)


A timeless view from the boardwalk. (Image copyright The Wilderness Journal 2020)


Deep within one of the myriad vernal pools was a female Mallard, dead-still among the emergent vegetation. (Image copyright The Wilderness Journal 2020)


Organic mater scattered along the forest floor framed the waterline of the pools effortlessly. (Image copyright The Wilderness Journal 2020)


Moss clung to fallen branches in damp regions of the preserve (Image copyright The Wilderness Journal 2020)

Amidst it all, life goes on around us. We all do our best every day. Its all we can ever do. Any day, this year or beyond, doing our best is our best bet.

Until next time, get outside and breath.


-Adam K.



















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