ReWilding Challenge: August 2019 — Week 1


REWILDING CHALLENGE: DAY ONE


Long Island, NY – 24 August 2019: Started the #ReWildYourLife challenge today, sharing this image from my recent Serbia trip as a start…


REWILDING CHALLENGE: DAY TWO


Weld Wildlife Sanctuary, Nissequoge, NY – 25 August 2019: Today was the “Listen” challenge. I went for a walk to my favorite local trail out to the beach, and did my 30 minutes eyes closed by the edge of the beach right where the forest meets the sand…


REWILDING CHALLENGE: DAY THREE


Lake Ronkonkoma, NY – 26 August 2019: Today was the “Stop Hurrying” challenge, and I had a bit of a hard time with it because it was a work day for me, still, I managed to take time out to go for a walk on my lunch break and intended to go walk around the lake, but when I got there I found out the lake had flooded since the last time I was there, and the shore was now mostly submerged making it impossible to walk “around” it. I did my best to take a walk anyway, where I could along the upper bank as much as there was a trail, but didn’t get to walk as much distance as I’d have liked. I did manage to do a number of the scavenger hunt “finds” during my walk though, and it also definitely refreshed my brain and re-energized me for the rest of the day…

One scavenger hunt item we needed to find was a “tree to big to hug”. I was surprised that this one was actually “too big” for me to get my arms around (I had thought I was going to have to find a really really ancient one to fit that requirement). I don’t know what kind of tree it is, but I really like the texture of the bark…

Some more scavenger hunt items included a “fallen tree that is rotting” and “vines” which I quickly spotted in this wooded area …

We also had to “find a hiking stick” and “make it our own”. I think I found a pretty good one, though i may trim off some of the sharper top end and a bit of the bottom to make it the perfect size — but regardless it is a nice solid and smoothly weathered piece of wood and looks like it can serve the purpose well …

A few more scavenger hunt items along the trail included a “yellow flower,” “berries,” and a “purple flower,” …

I also encountered an even BIGGER tree that I could not hug (it is the same kind as the first one, and I will need to try to look it up to identify the “kind” of tree it is) …


REWILDING CHALLENGE: DAY FOUR


Nesconset, NY – 27 August 2019: Rough work day today, but managed to get my “Skying” challenge in late in the afternoon, once the workday had ended. It turned out to be a lucky thing, as the sky itself was kind of “dull” with a lot of cloud cover all day, and there were not initially any super fun fluffy clouds to look at, but rather a kind of mass of swiss cheese cloud cover, and they were darkening and filling more of the sky as the time wore on. Then as the cloud cover blocked the sun, but the sun started to set, the sky closest to the horizon started to take on some strong color, and bright red and violet swashes painted the area behind the pine trees…


REWILDING CHALLENGE: DAY FIVE


Nesconset, NY – 28 August 2019: Today’s challenge was to “Go Barefoot” outdoors. Another insane work day meant I did this exercise in my backyard, but there were plenty of surfaces for me to walk on, green grass, patches of sand and dirt (as well as cement). The grass felt cool and soft and mostly good to walk in, apart from the twigs and pebbles that kept making me go “ouch”. My feet have gotten a lot more sensitive in my “old age”, and this exercise made me realize that it was not sooooo long ago that I used to walk around barefoot all the time at home and in the yard. My feet used to be so callused that I could walk on hot sidewalks and tar driveways without flinching. I need to start walking barefoot again more often…


REWILDING CHALLENGE: DAY SIX


Nesconset, NY – 29 August 2019: “Solitude” today. Spent the time just walking around in a familiar outdoor space, and started to look more closely and realized that even here in “my own backyard” I can appreciate nature. Saw the baby bunny who was too quick to get away when I tried to get close enough to take a photo with my phone. And a cardinal on the little red maple behind a bunch of branches. One squirrel running on the fence line — and that made me think I have not seen “the squirrel” from the “squirrel condo” tree in a while. I hope she is ok and still alive. I did see her in the spring with a few of her young ones. I will have to pay more attention to their tree in the late afternoon. I did make a couple of photos for the “scavenger hunt” of a feather and some sandy soil…


REWILDING CHALLENGE: DAY SEVEN


Lily Pond Park, NY – 30 August 2019: Today I got out early-ish before work to do my “Wander” challenge not far from home at the little “Lily Pond Park” in an area of reclaimed woodlands down by the lake. I like this park because it is not popular and not very “developed” in terms of the trails, so there is still a feeling of being in the woods even though it is really close to the suburban developments nearby. It was a good place for “wandering” because though I know the general layout of the area, I am not really familiar with the individual “trails” and they are not well marked in any way, so it really is literally wandering around and choosing a path randomly just working my way in the general direction I needed to make it into a loop. I really like this small “park” for short walks, and have had some amazingly cool wildlife experiences here in the past, including the “ghost drumming” that turned out to be a woodpecker on a hollow dead tree and a great blue heron that rose up out of a swamp just as I approached the clearing. Today there was nothing like that, but it was still a great wander and I spent a lot of time stopping along the way to look at and photograph “scavenger hunt” items I saw during my “wandering”…