I cannot believe it’s already time to reflect on the last several weeks of assignments and blog posts. I think the biggest change I’ve seen in myself since the beginning of the semester is the way I now take in the biodiversity around me.
I had a good chance during quarantine in the spring to sit in my backyard and watch the birds and insects, but I’ve taken it further. As I’ve gone on weekend hikes in Western North Carolina, especially within the national forests, I’ve paused to stare at the ants, the pollinators, the bark on the trees. And then I think about how lucky I am to live in such a richly diverse area!
Sometimes I work weekends, but on those weekends off, I’ve made a point for my husband and I to walk through the woods, take a long hike and breathe in the mountain air.
I also find myself sounding more and more like my dad. My dad went to school in Western N.C. for forestry and was always showing me the trees at our house growing up. He still remembers the Latin names for most of the common ones. During the tree presentation I put together, I channeled my inner Jeff and that voice never quite left. We just became members at the N.C. Arboretum (within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest section of the Pisgah National Forest) and I’m thrilled to continue this newfound enjoyment with simply knowing things about trees.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about traveling and seeing the really cool stuff outside of my backyard (we even went on a three month road trip across America to see it) and now I can safely say I live in one of the most beautiful and interesting places in the country. But perhaps I’m biased.