April 29th Greenery Day

Today is not really a world wide holiday, but maybe it should be. It has a mixed message since it was created in 1989 to celebrate the birth of Emperor Hirohito in Japan. I am not exactly sure what Hirohito has to do with greenery, guess I need to look that up, but it is a day we can all go out and enjoy mother nature who seems to have a favorite color of green. Now that winter is long behind us (Hopefully) we can actually go out and enjoy the green no mater what country we come from. Nature, after-all, provides more beauty than any other natural thing in life. If this is Hirohito’s birthday celebration then we can celebrate his birthday as well… though with his reign, Japan created some of the ugliest scenes imaginable during World War 2. Hirohito did surround himself with beautiful, lush gardens… perhaps never knowing the ugly world his Generals created in his name.

How to celebrate – Get out into nature. Visit Japan. Help save a rain forest.

April 8th National All is Ours Day

This is an interesting day, it celebrates the spectacular. However what truly is spectacular is the fact that today is just… today. It does not belong to anyone, it belongs to us all. So as you go through your day you need to take note of those spectacular things the world offers, not just to you, but to us all. Things like sunsets, moonlight, blue skies, majestic mountains… all the things God created for us to enjoy that we so often see but do not comprehend.

How to celebrate – Find all the things that we all own. Enjoy people. Look for the good things in life.

June 15th National Nature Photography Day

Nature provides us with more beautiful scenes than we could ever create on our own.  It also provides humor and awe and in an attempt to capture some of that we take pictures so that we can remember.

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Nature photographers don’t often get the glory that other photographers get. After all, they are just capturing something that is already there… but there is an art to it, just like any other kind of photography. Actually, there may even be more of an art to capture Mother Nature than in any other form of photography.  While nature provides the subject, it often requires a lot of effort to get the shot.

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It can  require traveling and planning, having to be at the right spot at just the right time with the right equipment exactly when nature provides the opportunity. It also takes more observation, the photographer seeing things most of us just take for granted.

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Anybody can create a shot in a studio. It’s a totally controlled environment using material set up by set decorators and lighting that can be adjusted to make the shot look, natural. Nature does not offer those same opportunities.

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And occasionally, even the nature photographer is surprised by the results. The day was created by the North American Nature Photography Association in 2006. (NANPA was created 1994.)

How to celebrate – Grab you camera and become a nature photographer yourself. Go to an art exhibition featuring photography taken in nature. Make a picture say a thousand words.

November 17th Take A Hike Day

Sometimes, when some one tells you to take a hike its not such a good thing! In this case, however, it is… so go, Take A Hike!

With the weather cooler now, it isn’t like taking a walk in sweltering heat. The trees are turning colors and animals are a little more frisky so there is a lot to see. It is a great thing to do in a large group, although you will probably scare off the wild life. In the end, it is interesting to compare what people saw, sometimes its the same as everyone else but sometimes they see things no one else picked up on.

It can also be a great thing to do alone giving you a chance to get your head together and come to a better understanding of your life and where all the pieces fit together. Nature seems to be very soothing and helps you get your act together.

And it is great for inexpensive family outings. A time to bond, a chance to get to know each other a little better. And make them leave their phones at home! You’ll get resistance at first but after a half hour they’ll forget all about it. And make a picnic out of it making sure you provide everybody’s favorite foods.

And if you are daring enough, camp out over night. The view of the stars will be wonderful compared to being in the city.  You have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain and… its some healthy for you to do! That’s a win-win in anybodies book.

How to celebrate – Go Take A Hike! Most larger cities have hiking trails, find out where they are where you live. Find a friend or family member to walk with you, it makes it much more enjoyable.

September 22nd Autumnal Equinox Day

When you woke up this morning did you realize it was the first day of fall? Well it is! This is the season where everything seems to start happening, holidays, celebrations and a world filled with colors.

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It is also the only day of  the year where daylight and night share a 12 hours of the day on the equator.  So plan your day accordingly, if you live on the equator, elsewhere you probably won’t notice the change as much.

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But you should notice all the colors in nature. Plants begin to go through their yearly changes bringing out an array of colors seen no other time of the year. We only see it subtly here in the south, but in the north, the changes the trees go through are stunning. The funny thing about beauty also warns of the things to come, mainly the winter. (Though the winter has it’s own kind of beauty as well.)

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By legend, this is also Mabon’s birthday, the son of Mordon, the Roman Goddess of Earth. Most of us are not to familiar with Mabon or Mordon but we should celebrate their birthday as well, just because it’s nice to do that. They weren’t real but that doesn’t matter.

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The fact is, today is the first day of fall, the beginning of all the most celebrated holidays here in America and just a good day to be alive. Enjoy it.

How to celebrate – Take a moment to enjoy nature. Make plans for the coming holidays. Celebrate life.

August 31st National Eat Outside Day

When was the last time you went on a picnic? Well if you are planning on dining under the trees while it’s still warm you’d better jump on this as time is running out. It’s National Eat Outside Day.

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Take in the sunshine, although it will probably be raining, enjoy the wildlife, until the ants show up and soak in the calm and quiet atmosphere, unless you live in a big city where you will hear cars, airplanes and probably construction going on. And if you don’t have time to pack an entire picnic basket you can eat something simple, like an apple!

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Or if all else fails, there are always food trucks out there somewhere! Some of them are pretty good too! They come in a variety of foods available for you to choose from and while they are generally a little expensive, what the heck… you are outside eating in nature and being one with the universe.

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Unless you are a cowboy or a marauding viking you probably normally eat inside most days. Looking at the same four walls, over and over again and talking about work and the people you work with. Why not do something different for a change. Walk out the door, find a tree and park yourself, enjoying the world around you. (Just make sure the tree isn’t filled with birds) Enjoy the sunshine while you can… and you can brush that little bit of dirt off your sandwich anyway.

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How to celebrate – Pack a lunch and go outside today. Remember to clean up after yourself, your plastic bag is not a part of nature. Invite some friends to go with you, make it a party!

May 30th Water A Flower Day

Okay, so summer is here, or will be in a couple of days, and it will be hot. So hot in many places that even trees will find it difficult to weather the heat. Imagine you are a small flower and starved for water. For just  a few sprinkles of your water the flower will return it’s beauty to make your day a little brighter.

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The world is filled with beautiful images, true sometimes you have to look for them, but nature provides. Rich, warm colors and scents that fill the air with a scent that is both pleasing and relaxing. (Unless, of course, you are allergic to them.)

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And a flower asks for so little in return. Just a few drops of water, maybe a little fertilizer, some peat moss, occasional shade, a few kind words, a gentle touch… oh, and you really do need to be careful when tending to them. I had a uncle who lived in India for a few years and wondered by only the Americans had beautiful gardens at their homes. When he was greeted by a cobra coming out of his flower garden he understood why. He had a mongoose, which took out the snake in front of him but cobras travel in pairs, as do most snakes, and the one behind him got him. He survived, but was very sick for nearly a month.

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Still, that wasn’t the flowers fault. They do provide great beauty for us all to admire. In fact, most of nature is more beautiful than anything we can create.

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How  to celebrate – Give your flowers a drink. Stop and smell the roses. Plant some flowers to make your life brighter.

July 2nd Hop-A-Park Day

Living here in Orlando, Florida, hopping a park means something entirely different than it does across most of the rest of the world. Here for us to park-hop means to go from Disney to Disney Studios to EPCOT to Animal Kingdom. This can be fun but it also sort of stressful and really, really hot during the summer.

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For most of the rest of the world, hopping a park means going to some place you can relax and enjoy your day with a picnic or just laying out in the shade. Parks are genuinely beautiful. They are nature’s way of telling us to slow down and enjoy mother nature, even if it’s man made!

It’s a place to reflect or just let your mind go free. A chance to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy a nice refreshing breeze. Maybe go boating, or swimming, or play volleyball. To enjoy the company of those around you.

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I don’t know if there is anything as refreshing as jumping into a body of water to cool down on those really hot days. Floating leisurely around a lake as the sun sets and diving off wooden platforms into crystal clear water… now that’s the life!

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Some parks have been the site of some past not-so-pleasant historic events. It may have been where a Civil War or Revolutionary War battle took place. These sites seem particularly quiet as people pay reverence to those who fell on the field.

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The main thing is to just get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

You might want to wear a little sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses (seeing how it is UV Safety Month).  Shorts and t-shirts are just fine, you don’t need to dress up – the trees won’t care.

How to celebrate: Look for parks in your area where you can spend some time.  Plan a picnic for your friends and family.  Go for a walk by yourself and get your thoughts together.