Sunday, January 6, 2019

Write Your Own Prescription

Moss on rock with lichen
I am just getting over my first ever bout with the flu (that I can remember) and am seriously behind on my outdoor time. A recent reminder of how doctors are acknowledging the health benefits of being outside didn’t help me feel any better mentally – now I feel even more behind.

After I finished my flu prescription, I needed a nature one! I have watched people on Facebook display their outdoor adventures for weeks. The warm, wet days of this Georgia winter has been a perfect combo for exploring the natural world of fungi, and the mushroom group has been full of glistening caps and full baskets.

I finally got outside this week, but most of my yard’s fungi had already collapsed or been nibbled on. Still, I was refreshed by the sound of the birds and the crunch of the leaves beneath my feet. Even the nibbles in the mushrooms were a happy reminder that life was moving on in the great outdoors while I wasn’t looking.

A nibbled mushroom
Mushrooms on a log

I was rejuvenated too by the wet, green growth of mosses in plump, round mounds and along tree trunks. Green-gray lichens were swollen with moisture, permeating the air with freshness. I could feel my lungs take it in as if they were hooked up to an oxygen tank. Of course, they were!

Parmotrema perforatum
Stereum complicatum

Remember to take some time and write yourself that nature prescription. It’s just as good for you as that vitamin pill. If you need some ideas on what to do outside, reference my 2017 blog entry about Vitamin N and the ideas available in that book. Vitamin N not only refreshes you, but it also grounds you with the world around us. And that’s good for us and Mother Nature.

Note: I found this fabulous resource for common lichens in the Georgia Piedmont region. It helped me identify the one shown above as perforated ruffle lichen (Parmotrema perforatum).

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