Harkness State Park

18 10 2020

From March through August, I sheltered in Southeastern Connecticut and walked here daily.

It was definitely part of my strategy to maintain mental health! Harkness is probably the most photogenic park I’ve ever seen.

This section of the trail is dedicated to Dr. Bill Niering, Connecticut College, with whom I took botany. He was an awesome, unassuming man who inspired many.

I still come to this area, even though my sheltering days have ended.

(This is part of the DEEP Sky’s the Limit 2020 challenge which encourages us to get outdoors.)

CT DEEP Sky’s the Limit 2020

12 10 2020

You may recall that my friend Cherry and I participated in the Connecticut DEEP‘s Sky’s the Limit challenge over the last few years. This year, due to COVID, this challenge was not offered until October 5. Cherry has decided to not participate this year, but I am going to try to march forward.

The 2020 challenge encourages us to get outdoors and experience locations, preferably close to home. By the end of December, we are to visit:

  • three state parks,
  • three state forest, and
  • three blue blazed trails

We are to photograph ourselves at a sign that indicates the location, and write 50 words about why we went there and what we liked about it (sort of sounds like fourth grade, but I’m OK with that).

I intend to post here the sites that I am including in this challenge, not in any order of visitation or on the days of their visit.

I encourage anyone else to participate, either officially or unofficially, in Connecticut or any other state. Get out, get hiking, stay safe.

Memorial Day Weekend

23 05 2020

Changing in Place cover

It’s Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial beginning of summer. Not quite a typical one: no parades or picnics. We are still in place.

Here is a tribute to how nature changes in place, once again in areas that are within two miles of where I am sheltering. And a tribute on this Memorial Day weekend to the memory of those we’ve lost so far and will continue to lose to our current pandemic.

Thanks again to the Middletown Rec Office for sponsoring this video. (Music called “Where I am From“ provided by Google

Happy Mother’s Day!

10 05 2020
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and those who had mothers 🙂
I hope that these  signs of perseverance in nature remind us that we will make it through this!
Thanks to the Middletown Recreation office for sponsoring this video:
(The mother squirrel near the end is carrying a baby from one nest site to another. Baby’s tail is wrapped around her neck, she has it firmly in her mouth, and baby is hugging her tight. Difficult to distinguish.)

May Day

1 05 2020

Here are some signs of spring to help us through these times of confinement. Thanks to the Middletown Recreation office for sponsoring this video.


22 March 2020

22 03 2020

img_9403I walked this morning at the Verkade section of Harkness State Park in Waterford, a parcel donated by the family of a late high school classmate. It’s desolate, open and brown, with no signs of Spring and my spirits are sagging. I plod along, hugging the perimeter. I reach the bend where the path veers to the right to continue around the open area and I see a person coming through the woods that border this area. It’s Dennis, friend of my usual walking friend Julie. He and I chat – from a distance: I definitely would not be able to rescue him if he had been drowning. He’s familiar with the path that loops through the woods, which I follow as we part in opposite directions.


My step is lighter. I text Julie to share my exchange with Dennis. The trees resonate with the chirp of cardinals, the drumming of woodpeckers. I unsuccessfully check a small pond for amphibian eggs. Back into the open area, I continue the loop back towards my car. The sun is strong, I unzip my coat, and then my first sweatshirt and ultimately my second. I figure out how to cross the downed tree across the path, which I now think may have been used by Dennis, so I should protect myself from contact.


Having accomplished that, I look up and spot a pussy willow tree. A huge tree reaching the sky, loaded with buds.

I wonder why I feel the need to write this, and I think it’s for myself. I live alone, with not even a pet at this point. Up until now, I’ve had some walking companions. We’ve kept a reasonable distance, but I’ve noticed I could smell the coffee or toothpaste on their breath as we talked. Which means we are not far enough apart. And now maybe even arms’ length isn’t enough. Who knows.

So, I leave my clothes that had touched the downed tree in my car when I return home. I’ve only covered two miles. But a lot of space in my head. I think there will be a lot more of that in the months to come.

Welcome to 2020: the year of clear vision

1 01 2020


Welcome to the year 2020. Let it be a year of clear vision, not of hindsight nor of foresight, but in the present.

Let us remember as we stand at the ocean that it’s not the Atlantic or the Pacific or whatever other names we as humans have given them. The ocean is endless and it connects us all.

Let us remember that the air that we breathe circulates around the globe. The molecules we inhale may have come from Africa, or Antarctica, or Alaska, or Aruba.

Let us remember that the oxygen we breathe is here because plants convert the carbon dioxide we exhale into animal life-giving oxygen we inhale. It is a global cycle that allows life to continue on earth.

Let us remember to see the interconnections between us and everything else.

Let the year 2020 be a year of clear vision.

{with thanks to M2 for the inspiration]

Moving to BethLapin.com

14 11 2019

Much of the info that’s been posted here at HealingNatureCT will be moved to BethLapin.com

If you are following this blog, you may wish to sign up there also.



Peoples State Forest and New Hartford Diner, CT

14 11 2019

img_8703We did it! The last of 14 hikes for the DEEP’s Sky’s the Limit challenge! Cold but sunny day!

People’s State Forest, Riverton, CT

New Hartford Diner, New Hartford, CT

Macedonia Brook SP and The Villager, Kent CT

8 11 2019

Cherry and I went out in a gray day to hike the hardest and the penultimate of the DEEP 2019 Sky’s the Limit Challenge sites. It was challenging on the way up, and daunting on the way down, as a slow drizzle moistened all the leaves and rocks.

We totally earned our yummy lunch at The Villager in Kent. Corn Chicken chowder, a Rueben and a chicken Philly steak with fries… yum!