Monday, May 18, 2015


Nature has always been my sanctuary. Starting when I was a child, I would always feel most at peace out in the woods and fields, anywhere outdoors and away from everyday life. To quote John Muir, my favorite naturalist and environmentalist:
“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” 

“The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”  

“Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play and pray, where nature heals and gives strength to body and soul alike.” 

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”  

“No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening - still all is Beauty!” 
I've always been lucky in that wherever I've lived Nature was within easy reach - in the hills and trails around Loch Raven where I grew up in Maryland, and in the salt marshes and inlets and the rocky coast in and around Newport, RI. And here in Shippensburg, PA I live a 5 minute walk from a nature preserve. So if you wonder why you get pictures from the Dykeman Spring Nature Park every week, it's because it's part of my daily path, and at least once a week I spend some sitting-down-and-meditating time there. It's my local sanctuary, my church, my meditation center. And yes, here are some more pictures, taken this morning.

Hobblebush, also known as Nannyberry, growing along the Dykeman Walking Trail
Locust blossoms along the Dykeman Walking Trail
A family of Mallards on the north duck pond
Daisy Fleabane in the upland meadow
An island of trees in a sea of grass on the upland meadow
A panoramic view of Blue Mountain from the upland meadow
© 2015 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

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