April Bathing

Have you ever bathed with family or a dear friend? I had the privilege of bathing with both recently. No, I am not talking about bathing in a tub or a shower. I am talking about Nature bathing, taking long, slow walks outside. Some call it forest bathing. I say it can also be called prairie bathing, riparian bathing, or desert bathing.

In early April I enjoyed such an outing at McKinney Falls State Park, which is on the outskirts of Austin. My husband and our daughter and I had a great time meandering along the creek looking at wildflowers (which are at their peak in early April here), bird watching, and even fish watching. Here are some photos:

Redbud Tree and Bluebonnets

Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa)

Cypress Tree Trunk On Onion Creek

Cormorants Convening

Fish In Onion Creek (unknown species)

Towards the end of April a dear friend invited me to go bird watching with her in the same park. Some different plants were now blooming. We saw snowy egrets, great blue herons, and more cormorants flying up and down the creek. Other than birdwatching, we had no agenda. We just walked and enjoyed the fresh Spring air on our skin. The sounds of many different birds teased our ears, from the screeching of red tailed hawks to the sweet songs of cardinals. There was also the recurrent chirping of frogs. We stopped to admire and smell flowers. I enjoyed touching leaves to feel their texture. Here are a few photos from that walk:

White Clover (Trifolium repens)

False Gromwell (Onosmodium bejariense)

Prairie Larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum ssp. penardii)

Scarlet Leatherflower (Clematis texensis)

We did not talk about world affairs or gossip about people or our troubles. We talked about nature, that before us, and old encounters. And we met others enjoying the natural wonders of this park. There were the girls from a nature school laughing and having fun while processing yucca leaves into cordage. And a couple visiting from Israel led us to a view of a barred owl up in a cypress tree.

These times nature bathing with others both relaxed and renewed me. Get out there, somewhere green, and just be. Oh, and don’t forget friends and family. Invite someone outside to bathe with you.

Here is a link to more info on McKinney Falls State Park: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/mckinney-falls

Plant information from A Field Guide to Wildflowers Trees and Shrubs of Texas (Texas Monthly Field Guide Series) and Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country by Marshall Enquist

Photos by B. McCreary (who is also responsible for any misidentification of plants)

Published by

bettymccreary7347

Born and raised in Central Texas. Spending time outside brings me joy and I love to share my observations. I also belong to two writing groups and enjoy researching my ancestors. I find people interesting, but Nature keeps me sane.

8 thoughts on “April Bathing”

  1. I loved your nature bathing walk thoughts and photographs. I agree 100%. I was most taken by the cypress tree trunk on Onion Creek. I am taking a free course with Roseann Hansen online called “Around the World in 80 Trees” and I do hope we see the Cyprus trees. With the bare branches of winter, I have been charmed by seeing the trunks and branches of so many trees. Thanks for sharing, Betty!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just reading this (and absorbing the great images) lifts my spirits – thank you – great post! I have not been to McKinney Falls in over 10 years – high time to go back! I had a brief solo “bath” this afternoon, wandering off from the group at the annual Labrador Rescue Gathering (ranch on the Blanco River) – patches of large white rain lilies.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Betty, I need to take a nature bath, somewhere. Meanwhile I am enjoying my yard and plants and re-potted some of mine today. I have three colors of roses still blooming, red, yellow and pink. It felt good to get my hands dirty and to have dirt under my fingernails for a while. Thank you for sharing the photos and names of things, some I don’t think I’ve ever seen. I am looking forward to the next writing zoom, and do you think we might meet again in person to write? I can host.

    Love, Joan

    Like

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