Using nature to heal

Cosumnes River Preserve
Cosumnes River Preserve
Fujifilm XT-1 | 19.6 mm | f 11.0 | 1/30 | ISO 200

August was a particularly difficult month for me, having received some personal health news that forced me to evaluate and make some immediate changes to my lifestyle. While the main focus of these changes revolved around diet and exercise, there were other changes that I have implemented (and are considering) that were caused my a “ripple effect” in my overall quest to make positive changes.

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve
Fujifilm XT-1 | 35.8 mm | f 8.0 | 1/60 | ISO 1000

I started to take more walks and hikes, making it a point to not only get daily exercise but to be outside to experience and explore. An added benefit to this is being able to take my camera with me, to achieve my longstanding goal to simply “photograph more”.

It’s the combination of body movement, breathing fresh air, and taking time to notice and really look at things in different ways, that has had the most impact on my mental (and physical) health.

seeking light
UC Davis Arboretum
Fujifilm X-T30 | 50.5 mm | f 20.0 | 1/60 | ISO 200

My mindset is shifting in various ways. As much as I have shifted and reprioritized what is important to me, this last month has destroyed most of those ideas, forcing me to rebuild. It’s certainly not a negative thing rather, it’s just unexpected.

Hike #30 - Dave Moore Nature Area Trail
Dave Moore Nature Area
Fujifilm X-T30 | 35 mm | f 16.0 | 1/60 | ISO 400

A lot of my recent photography has been around flora, including a lot of trees and shades of green. Sure, while on the surface this is simply due to the hikes and nature areas I have explored but, it’s intentional. I find the shades of green to be calming. I appreciate the longevity of trees, especially those of the Coastal Redwoods. I admire the resilience of flowers and plants that find ways to grow and survive in so many different kinds of conditions.

Being outside, walking through nature, has become very important to me. It’s something I never want to take for granted (again).

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