Weekly Link Love — Edition 110

Research of the Week

Practicing self-control improves self-control.

Recent exposure to more common coronaviruses (like the common cold) seem to mitigate the severity of COVID-19.

There are six chronotypes, apparently.

Glucosamine may improve mortality similar to exercise.

Riboflavin should improve COVID-19 outcomes.

Tomato juice is good for menopause.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 458: Sharon Saylor: Host Elle Russ chats with Sharon Sayler, the “difficult people whisperer.”

Episode 459: GS Youngblood: Host Elle Russ welcomes GS Youngblood who teaches men to live and love from their masculine core.

Primal Health Coach Radio Episode 87: Laura and Erin chat with Nick Shaw, founder of Renaissance Periodization, and a master coach.

Primal Health Coach Radio Episode 88: Laura and Erin chat with Dr. Nick Henrikson, an MD who’s revolutionizing telemedicine.

Media, Schmedia

Imagine being a ten year old and finding this huge haul of ancient arrows.

Or these thousands upon thousands of prehistoric rock paintings.

Interesting Blog Posts

For the life of me I can’t find a local master to teach this to me.

Social Notes

How I’ll know it’s time to throw in the towel.

Everything Else

No thank you.

China may be building GMO super soldiers.

More LDL particles, fewer heart attacks and less death?

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Tell your doctor: Quick overview of vitamin D and COVID-19.

I want to believe: 115 year old Ukrainian man yearns for return to Austro-Hungarian Empire, attributes long life to milk, cheese, and potatoes.

I buy it: More wine, cheese, and lamb are fine by me.

More simple tests like this please: Most effective way to screen for COVID might be a loss of smell test.

Does this explain the flush?: Niacin may have come from outer space.

Question I’m Asking

Are you ready for 2021?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Dec 4 – Dec 10)

Comment of the Week

“It’s your last time really alone (until baby moves out of the house) so enjoy these moments with your wife. Your days are about to get a lot busier and noisier. You won’t have time to yourself in the same way. Your priorities are about to shift to a new human so get as much of the “you time” banked now as you can. So watch all the movies, and read all the books on your list, take baths together, go for hikes, do a road trip, and anything else you alone love and that the two of you enjoy together. Build on the strength of your marriage. Create a haven for the 2 of you at home, go on dates when the baby is old enough for a sitter, etc.

I’m 53 and my youngest is 23 and all of our 4 kids live far away at the moment. My regrets are the moments I might have missed when the kids were around and I was busy or working or whatever. Try to really be there as much as you emotionally can for the magic of kids that happens in the mundane moments.”

-Well said, Julian. Really, the whole comment section is a treasure trove of parenting advice.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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74 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 110”

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  1. Trust nothing from the CIA. Please desist with the China-baiting.

      1. It is entirely in my lane to challenge a source whose current secretary boasts, “We lied. We cheated. We stole,” and who called, at a press conference, Covid’s origin, “A live exercise.”

  2. Mark,
    If you can’t find a sensei/sifu/guru willing to condition you to getting hit in the groin, you’re not looking AT ALL.

    Fly me to Florida (especially right now) and set me up with room and board, I’ll teach you for free.

  3. We have a winter home in Gold Canyon AZ. Excellent hiking and biking trail a few miles from my house in the Superstition Mnt. Like to bike out a ways then just find a large rock to sit and ground on and enjoy the serenity of the desert. Especially beautiful March-April when in bloom. Plus very challenging single track that wii make you bleed if you screw up. Love it!

  4. Re: your article today about bathing in the forest, I’ve found that “Earthing” really improves one’s wellbeing.

  5. Forest bathing in my neck of the woods (the high desert of Central Oregon) is all about dryness and, in the summer, the smell of warm pine. When we only vacationed here, I’d roll down the window as we approached and I’d relax as soon as I smelled the warm pine. Now I get to live here!!

    On another note, I keep signing up to receive the Weekly Link Love in my email box, but I never seem to get it.

    1. Debbie-
      We are from CO also! I love the smell of the junipers!

  6. I moved from California to South Dakota so I could live in a pine forest and have four actual seasons. Now, 16 years later, it was completely worth it. I love getting up, going outside my front door and having that “camping” sight, sound, smell hit my senses. Your article on “forest bathing” reminded me of why I moved here.

  7. Our forest bathing takes place under shorter Juniper trees in a high dry desert in Oregon. We have small forest creatures and some large scary ones but mostly it’s windy and dry and smells like Christmas and gin and dusty sage.

  8. I live in the Smoky mountains and there is no doubt that a walk in the woods, or a bike in the woods, is one of the best mood elevating drugs on the market. I walk out of the woods a new person every time. Come visit sometime Mark! We have separate living quarters with a gym. I’ll be doing a mountain biking tour in my van in FL in February and will be coming through Miami if you are free we should hook up for a hike/bike.

    1. Right up the road from you in Alcoa.
      I wish I could talk my family into walks in the woods as often as I’d like to take one, but I get out there when I can. Some days we settle for Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville.

  9. In Charlotte NC the trail smells of dying leaves and there is a soothing crunch under your feet as you walk. You can feel the stillness of death and dying.
    In winter you can see all of the songbirds and the hawk stalking the squirrels. As spring hits there’s a canopy of elm, maple, walnut, hickory, cedars, and more. Hot and humid here in NC.

  10. I feel so fortunate to live in northern California immersed among the massive Redwoods. I go on hikes through the redwood forest at least 3-4 times a month, although often more, and each time (no matter how many times I revisit a hike), I’m absolutely amazed at the beauty of the giants and their surroundings. I love going at different times of the year because the forest changes duty the seasons too…right now mushrooms are popping up everywhere! Being among the redwoods is so peaceful & calming… I get this feeling of safety when I’m walking through the ancient giants. I cannot emphasize enough how magical the redwood forest is!

    1. Awesome! I love the redwoods. As a kid I lived in Northern California and especially loved the Muir Woods, and Jack London State Historic Park.

  11. My wife and I walk in oak studded foothills of California Central Valley daily on our golf course. Squirrels, rabbits, coyotes, hawks, geese, herons are our frequent friends. We watch the sun go down.
    Your post made me even more grateful. Blessings and Merry Christmas. Gary

  12. I have a nice forest near my house that I hike almost daily. I love to observe the color palette of the forest and it’s shift over the year. Flat brown and lime green buds, and pastel blue skies in the spring. Rich emerald green leaves and warm yellow, filtered sunshine in the summer. Gold, red, and orange foliage, contrasting with moody low-angled light in the fall. And the winter has a bleak, mottled palette of brown and gray, which is sometimes the most interesting. It is always a great source of artistic inspiration.

  13. This morning is the first time I’ve ever heard the term “forest bathing,” but the intuitive rightness of the idea jumped out at me. I immediately saw all kinds of possibilities to explore — for examale, fine shadings of emotions that are real but difficult to articulate.
    Because I’m new to the idea, as yet I don’t have much to add to the conversation. However, you can be sure that I will be paying attention.

  14. We live in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest. We hiked a short hike in an urban forest yesterday. It was cold and the sounds were of the city beyond, but you could still feel the comfort of this treed oasis surrounded by pavement. The oak leaves blanketed the forest floor protecting the understory from the impending freeze. The fire and cedars stood sentinel while many of the critters began their hibernation. It was lovely.

  15. I live in The Pacific Northwest The Evergreen State
    Where the trees are big ,green, dripping with beautiful
    moss. I love walking and living among the big old trees!
    The smell so fresh from Ceder trees , firs, smell like Christmas every day. The beauty of the white cap mountains and glistening water is so serene.

  16. I live in Flagstaff, AZ. The forest here is pine, juniper and aspen, and, unlike Flotida, very dry. But there are birds, cicadas singing in summer, and, when it’s wet after a rare rain, the smell of wet trees and leaves is absolutely wonderful.

  17. Hands down my favorite place to forest bathe is in Montana…whether I’m in Missoula, down in the Bitterroot, up north by Glacier, or even eastern Montana nothing recharges me more than time in nature in the Treasure State.

  18. As a nurse Im currently taking a crisis assignment in NYC. Ive never lived in the city. Im Florida girl as well. Im definitely missing the outdoor nature bathing I get back hone and on other assignments.
    Since it’s Christmas time I was thing of getting a small tree to put in my hotel room. Are there any other indoor plants that you recommend in a small hotel room surrounded by the pollutants of the city?
    Thank you.

  19. Forest Bathing feels like an oxymoron here on the Great Plains, i.e. short grass prairie. We do get the odd cottonwood tree, lots of coyotes and prairie dogs and wind. Bull snakes and rattlesnakes in warmer weather. The wind farms are doing a lovely job of killing off the bird populations, so it is quieter these days.
    I love the sweeping vistas. It is a bit like living in the middle of a giant grass ocean. That for me brings great peace.

  20. I’m in the Bay Area, CA, and have cultivated my yard to offer sights and scents. Bay, sycamore, sages, and currants offer a lot of wonderful scents around the year. And i enjoy watching visiting birds, too. It’s a respite.

    1. I hope you visit the Muir Woods! My favorite as a kid, when I lived in Sonoma.

  21. I know a lot of people talk about waterfront property as being prime, but for me being proximal to a forest is essential. I live in Ontario and forests here are mixed with cedar groves, mature hardwoods, trembling aspens, and grassy wetlands. If you go further North they are become very rocky with giant cliffs – part of the Canadian Shield. We have over 150,000 hectares of conservation forest land in Ontario alone! Having lived and travelled in a few different provinces, I can say that the soil and growth varies. In Ontario the smell is woodsy-loamy with a lot of minerals in the soil and the sound – especially where there is a river – is a cacophony of crickets, birds, and movement – leaves, grasses, water and wildlife all. Funny I can hike for hours in a forest but tire easily in a mall. I find something about a forest impacts my energy and psyche like nothing else. And my dog agrees!

  22. We live in BC Canada, one of the most beautiful places in the world. Hiking is the biggest attraction here and we do our share. I myself was raised further north and my backyard was 6 miles of forest. We literally bathed in the water pits in the middle of the forest, some were bottomless and the water snakes many. I feel like a kid again, takes me back every time. Pure calm and peace, can’t get any better!

  23. Dexamethasone mentioned in “Quick overview of vitamin D and COVID-19.” is used to prevent nausea during chemotherapy. It is interesting that it could also help COVID-19 patients.

  24. I have access to national forests all over Utah, which I love to hike in – high elevation areas that are best hiked in August through early October.

    But I have to say my favorite hiking is in desert regions, such as Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Capitol Reef National Park, Goblin Valley State Park, the San Rafael Swell, etc. Around March to May at the latest (starts getting too hot), and in about late September through October before it gets too cold which is typically in mid or late November.

    Nothing makes me feel better than the dry deserts.

    My other favorite is what I hiked as a kid all the time, redwood forests in Northern California. Totally different, but amazing visually (which I think is important) as well as the clean air, and the various scents and sounds of nature.

    In June and July in Utah, which you’ll notice I omitted above, we swim in lakes and reservoirs. So much better than a chlorine-reeking, questionably sanitary, public pool!

    Being in nature always makes me feel good, mentally, and physically. I have some serious chronic injuries that always lessen when I’m in nature in a place I’m excited to be in and amazed by.

  25. In the midwest you get a different kind of bath in every season and time of day. Currently I live near a river and it is winter. Many types of birds have gone south for the winter or animals hibernating. When I walk now it’s more restful. There is almost a hush over everything with the snow. It smells crisp and fresh, exhilarating. Leaves crackle under foot barely covered by the new snow. Towering, gnarled oak trees standing guard here. Enormous branching maples like big hug there. A stand of pretty, white peeling Birch on another slope. Evergreens dotting the woods and permeating the air with minty freshness. The feeling is of strength and timelessness. Bathing in dappled sun through the trees, sounds of river flowering by and birds flitting from bough to bough. Feeling steady and at peace and full of life no matter what happens in the rest of the world.

  26. I’ve lived in Colorado most of my life. It’s my favorite place in the whole world, and I could never tire of it. I’ve done a lot of forest bathing over the years, driving and hiking in summer and skiing in winter.
    I’ve watched the forests evolve. There were entire mountainsides of blue spruce when I was a kid. The trees are mostly all green these days, for whatever reason. Just as beautiful but I miss the blue ones. The damage of wildfires creates a hole in my heart that’s almost like losing a family member, even though I realize I’m only observing it through my own short lifetime.
    I’ve lived near the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific, but large bodies of water just don’t do much for me. Give me the mountains and forests any old day!

    1. Living in the Piedmont area of Georgia we are fortunate to have incredible forest diversity. The towering Loblolly pines whisper and sway above a diverse understory of Oak, Maple, Sweetgum, Dogwood, Redbud, Tulip trees, Eastern red Cedar,Black Gum and many more! The scent of pine mingled with the deciduous trees and the earthy smell of moss and leaves is a gentle smell. The forests sing with Neotropical migrating birds in the Spring and Autumn and the yearly bird residents sing and dart through the forests with beauty and grace. The forests here are a soothing and healing place.

  27. Happy Sunday,
    I was doing my morning toilette and thinking how to support my yoga students throughout the winter months, alongside covid…. no live classes here. And forest bathing came to mind! Then I start reading emails while sipping coffee and read your post, synchronized.
    I live in an area of British Columbia Canada with lots of forests and so just a block from home we step into the forest and follow pathways familiar but always something to see, smell, hear, experience. Looking forward to some snow this week to add to the delight!
    Thanks Mark

  28. I recently retired & relocated to northwest Florida where live oaks & long leaf pines dominate the environment, so things are ever green here. My home backs up to over 1,000 acres of (for now) undeveloped land, so I get to enjoy the benefits of nature from my own backyard deck, including coyote, hawks, seabirds, whiporwills, butterflies, dragonflies, bees of numerous varieties, hummingbird moths, gopher turtles, squirrels, & bunnies to name a few. There is also an equestrian center adjacent to the neighborhood, so also get to enjoy the sites & smells of these majestic animals. I was career USN, so the salt air of the Gulf of Mexico can be intoxicating & invigorating to my soul. I look forward to the warmer temperatures so that I can enjoy the benefits of both forest & Gulf bathing.

  29. I love experiencing forest bathing on all vacations and different sensations of sight, smell, texture, sounds, plants, wild life etc. Kauai (current vacation for more Vitamin D and warmth) makes me grateful I am not in northern CA now. Nature Conservancy, Rails to Trails, local, state , national parks and world heritage sites all help me appreciate the diversity of Mother Earth and thank God for every day.

  30. Hi Mark.
    I walk in the woods near me in the Cotswolds in England. I walk daily with my dogs, and as they are happy sniffing around for about an hour and a half it gives me time to take in and bathe in my surroundings. The smells change almost daily. I’m sure you’re aware that in England the weather changes daily. Some days i can smell the earth, some days wet leaves, and sometimes the bark and sap smells so strong; Also cows, sheep, horses, wheat, corn, the list goes on snd on. No two days are ever the same but I come back invigorated every single time.
    I love your Sundays with Sisson. Thank you.

  31. Hi Mark, I have been mountain biking for 30 years and it never gets old to me. A big part of that is being out in the woods, soaking in nature (and VOC’s, apparently)! The older I get the more apparent it is that movement is life. I enjoy your posts and point of view. Take care.

  32. I sure hope your are watching those Burmese Python shows on the History Channel! Very exciting watching the men catch the snakes alive in the glades…and I wonder why they are not shooting them?

  33. Santa Clara is full of trees…elms, Naples, etc….and I can drive 15 minutes in be with redwoods and pines.

  34. I am in beautiful British Columbia, the Interior , which is semi dry, so lots of pine trees, some Douglas fir, and less deciduous. Still, the Pine exudes a pleasant enough odour, and being a semi mature forest, easy walking.

  35. What a great question!
    I have “forest bathed “ in many places of the world, but my favourite place is here in the northern country of Canada , Newfoundland and Labrador to be more specific.
    We have spruce and fir coniferous forests interspersed with maple and silver birch deciduous trees.
    Also many of our hikes take place along the shoreline where we are showered with the salty spray of the North Atlantic.
    Today, December 13, we are experiencing our first snowfall of the season and the fir and pine in my backyard are frosted with white tips . On tomorrow’s walk on the trail along the stream , we will feel as if we are inhabiting a greeting card!
    Season’s greetings to all.

  36. Love this, Mark! Just in from a hike in Malibu, with glorious views and scents to revitalize the spirit. Glad you are enjoying nature in FL. Best to you and Carrie!

  37. Hey Mark. If you haven’t done so already, Finland during the Summer is a must visit. The forest scene is amazing. Mix that with their saunas and lakes, then you’re in for the ultimate forest bathing.

    1. Southern England here, in an area called Bracknell Forest. Out with our Husky every day so plenty of chances to get into the woods. Lots of Oak trees and conifers round here, plenty of birdsong and grey squirrels (“God’s tennis balls” according to the dog!). Love the changing of the seasons we get here, always something new to look at or to smell in the forest air.

  38. Read “Overstory” by Pulitzer Prize winning, Richard Powers. Its long, but you will not be sorry.

  39. I live in rural Maine surrounded by forest and hike 4 miles in the woods nearly every day. Bug nets/spray in the summer, warm insulated clothing in the winter. Nature is my drug of choice!

  40. I’m on the outskirts of Sydney, Aus and have a national park at the bottom of the road. The sounds of Kookaburra’s and Cockatoo’s are always in the air with a host of other smaller birds. Now in summer the the Cicadas are at their loudest volume.
    Everyday I walk my son to school and 3 times a week I’ve got my running gear on, 2 of those runs are only 4 or 5 km’s and they are always on the bush trails. There are lot’s of entrances to trails and it always goes the same way. From the school I can use one 500m away 1km or 2km. But that means jogging up the side of a busy road. Every time I think I’ll head to the 2km entry I never make it, car fumes and the general drudgery of the urban environment can’t compete with the seductiveness of the Bush trails.

    As soon as I drop in, everything changes, the smell of honeysuckle, Purple flowered Jacaranda trees, musty smelling barks all invigorate the senses. Energy goes through the roof, especially if there are a few Goanna’s darting of the track ahead. Once a week I head on a 10km yomp (run walk) that rises up a 1000 or so feet to a camping ground that can only be reached by foot. Being surrounded as far as the eye can see by dense bush valley’s, just makes you feel purely Human. Put me on any suburban road and tell me to run 10km and I’m asking why, what’s the point of that. Put me on a bush trail and I will have already taken off. Happy Holidays From OZ

  41. Ahhh a walk along a narrow path then through a meadow With seed loving wrens and finches and into a forest of mature Sugar Maple. You can feel the energy and the flow of water up the trees. Then across a Brook with the coolness in the air and into a vast stand of hemlock and here you are drawn to the quiet as everything is covered in moss and dampness. You can almost drink the air. Up the side hill to take on the view but now passing the tremendous white pine and loving the smell of warm pine duff. You have to sit a minute to inhale the essence. At the top the world opens up and the wind blows and the energy fills you full as you raise your arms upward to take it all in. This always puts my boat on an even keel.

  42. Mark,
    for 63 years now I’ve gone to the woods for solitude. I didn’t realize early in my life why I felt so at home among the trees, ferns and, other living things in the forest. Now I realize how much my psychological health depends on getting out there regularly. I now take a lot more time in the forest to just sit and be quiet. Heaven.

  43. Always enjoy your Sunday morning posts Mark.

    Northeastern MN. A boreal forest rich in natural VOC’s. White pine, Balsam Fir, Red Pine and interspersed with Birch, Maple and Poplar. The summer bakes the needles for the best perfume I can imagine which makes doing long, hot portages worth the rocks and roots. And mosquitos! All my canoe crew range from 60 to 77 and no one goes empty handed. Yup, paradise with ice.

  44. Mine to share here is actually a field bath rather than a forest bath. I farm organic alfalfa in eastern Nebraska. My 80 acres of alfalfa is surrounded by 10 acres of buffer area which includes 7 native grass types, 4 types of coneflower, Black-eyed Susans, cosmos and sunflowers. But walking in acres of organic alfalfa in various bloom stages is invigorating. Flowers of blue, lavender, purple, yellow, cream and white all dazzle the eyes and the olfactory glands. Always joined by butterfly species everywhere and my favorite soldiers of honeybees and lady beetles. You know when if is optimal time to mow the alfalfa(hay) by simply biting into a stem and tasting the sweet sugar that has come up from the roots. A total bath of the senses. Chad Hansen Hansen Organic.

  45. Well, in Western Australia I only really want to go bushwalking in winter or spring bc it’s too hot In summer (plus snakes). But it’s nice, smells of gum leaves quite strongly and I like to see all our wildflowers and the weird shapes of old hollowed out or burnt out trees.

  46. I live in central Ohio and I walk our woods frequently and I also ride my horses in the woods. It’s so rejuvenating to ride or walk in the woods. It’s mostly maple, beech and some white pines. I love it and I am thankful for enjoying being outdoors.

  47. You’ve no idea how timely this is. My husband is in the hospital dealing with several serious issues, and I’ve been so stressed I can hardly function. I’ll go on a walk in the morning among the redwoods. Thank you so very much!

  48. Is there a reason my comments are being censored? I’ve said nothing derogatory about anyone, and nothing political beyond the vague idea that the approach to coronavirus has been ham-fisted.

  49. Forest bathing in Florida brings to mind leeches, alligators, mosquitoes, exotic brain eating amoeba, parasites, invasive pythons, swarms of ants, escaped tiger from the zoo, and bitey fish. Dinosaurs probably. Upsides might be riding a manatee or something. I’d smell a manatee.

    1. Florida has more than wetlands. Get into the central part of the state and it looks a lot different from the vision most people have

  50. Live on 10 acres East Texas pineywoods, walk every day, animals? You name it we got it and we love it not to mention pine trees!!!!

  51. I live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and we have beautiful hiking trails all around us. My knee has prevented us from hiking the way we once did, but there are still plenty of somewhat level trails. Every one has its own signature, some heavy with oak, maple, and other hardwoods; some with rhododendron and other flowering shrubs. It’s differently aromatic along each trail. Many of them lead to waterfalls where you can stand near enough to feel the air rushing off the water. Just standing quietly and taking it all in, without saying a word, is a calming experience. I can’t imagine someone who’s never had the opportunity to do that.

  52. Funny, I hadn’t heard of this trend-Forest Bathing- until I went mushrooming with a here in the Pacific Northwest a few months ago who brought a friend that mentioned it. The 4 of us spent 3 or so hours wandering back and forth over a stretch of woods looking for edible mushrooms. We found them, breathed in the fresh air and communed not only with nature but each other in the hunt for our mushrooms. What a great way to spend a few hours!

  53. Hey Mark,
    If you want a completely different view of Florida, come up to Ocala National Forest and check out the pine and live oak forests. You might also be interested in Payne’s Prairie, wild bison and wild horses there, as well as one of our fresh water springs. They’re 72 degrees year round

  54. You guys actually reran that tomato juice study? It was corporate funded and had no control group. Junk science meant to generate press. Looks like that worked!

  55. I do Pilates three times/week, under a big gum tree beside a river. This is three hours in nature, with lots of deep breathing and movement. This is mindfulness and de-stressing for me.

  56. We call it bush walking in Australia. Come down under and smell our gum trees, when COVID is gone that is. We have amazing National Parks all over Australia.

  57. I walk in the Mountains of Tasmania.Rainforest they heal and energise the Soul.

  58. Spring, summer and fall I love walking through the trees here in the Canadian Prairies. Fall is my favorite, the air is so crisp and clean. Even on nice days in winter it’s great; I went snow shoeing yesterday. However, winter is difficult to get out much as the only daylight is while I’m at work, and when we are in a cold snap it is not pleasant to be outside at all. Getting sunlight and fresh air is a real challenge during the winter months, but we do the best we can!

  59. Mark: On forest bathing: One of your best posts ever. I’m in Tennessee and love the feel of the old growth forests of Appalachia. But your description of the feel of your southern forests makes me want to get out and hike the world. Thanks for posting.

  60. In Massachusetts the forest baths don’t hum with activity like Florida except in spring. In spring the ferns and mushrooms explode and the smell of composting humus is everywhere. Near me we have low vistas but we have lots of them. Low mountains in the fog; an orange sunrise in the distance. Maybe it’s not Yellowstone but it’s more than enough to remind you of the beauty of nature and the calm
    That has nothing to do with the everyday striving for nonsense. The next iPhone. Fluctuations in the stockmarket. Grade point averages. All nonsense.

  61. Archie and I took a 3.69 mile hike yesterday through the brown-leaf-floored, naked-branched woods of December in West Michigan. The sounds were of a rippling brook and a nearby firing range. There were just enough people about to scare of scurrying wildlife, and there weren’t many birds about, either. But when I got far enough from the guns and the people, there was a humming stillness that feels magical to me. Come, March, the streams in all the parks will swell. Some trails will become temporarily impassable; and many will be squelchally mucky. The birds and other creatures will scurry and squeak and squawk. Winter is the quietest time in a Michigan forest, unless it’s windy. Then one can hear tree trunks and branches squeal against one another, and a whoosh of pine branches and rattle of bare ones.

  62. The forests of Alaska keep your blood pumping as you are always in high alert. Wildlife that can and sometimes wants to kill you are ever present. The forests and valleys of the Chugach Mountains are wet, can be swampy, rocky, amazing views, active mosquitoes, miles and miles of no structures making you feel alone with this land. I always end a hike in a state of wonderment at how beautiful this land I share is.

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