We used to microwave, now we just eat nuts and berries.
There's a very good blog post over at Children and Nature Network on the benefits of trees in urban environments. I especially love this quote: "You might not think there is nature in your midst. I’ve noticed that, as a society, we perceive nature to be “out there” rather than here where we raise our families and run our businesses. We think of it as a place we have to “go to” for a getaway.
One of the great things about nature is how it can hone one's powers of observation, how there's always something new to notice about even the most familiar sights. Recently I've been thinking a lot about how my own powers of observation are developing. One example that sticks out in my mind happened when we were camping on Lake George about a year and a half ago. I've always liked to know what things are, always want to be able to identify things I'm looking at.
Although the park area is not large (200 acres), "Andy's Trail," which runs mostly around the perimeter, offers a nice variety of types of terrain and surroundings. The trail is well-marked and features a "self-interpretive nature trail" with ten observation points created by a local Boy Scout as his Eagle project. The full circuit is about three miles of easy hiking, which can be comfortably done in about half a day, with time for goofing around, picture-taking, and observing nature's details, such as birds' nests, moss, icicles, and woodpecker holes.
While visiting family in Westchester, the Tarpmaster and I went for a short walk along the Amawalk reservoir and dam. They are part of the Croton Aqueduct section of the New York City water supply, which is now used mainly as backup to the Catskills system, and also for a small part of Queens, if I remember right.