365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge

(Day One — A foggy morning.)

I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like silence,
to silence.

~ Thomas Hood

On September 23, 2010, I set off on a quest and a commitment to step outside and enjoy the outdoors (and blog about it!) every day for the next year.  I was inspired to do so by Kathy who spent her own year Opening the door, walking outside.  Thank you, Kathy, for the inspiration!

I’m setting out on this journey with no expectations other than the hope of learning a thing or two.

I will use this page to highlight some of my year.  The main entries can be found on the main part of Life in the Bogs.

Update:  22 December 2010

They say that every snowflake is different.  If that were true, how could the world go on?  How could we ever get up off our knees?  How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?

~ Jeanette Winterson

(Day 84:  Sunshine and snow.)

It is day 91 and I find it hard to believe that 3 months have passed already.  The misty days of autumn are over and we are now well into winter with plenty of snow on the ground.  The pond is frozen enough that we can now walk, sled, and ice skate upon it

I am learning a lot about this small piece of Mother Earth that nurtures, nourishes, and sustains us in a variety of ways.  I now know where the deer paths are through the woods and meadows, and where they sleep at night.  I have met a dule of doves (and learned the term “dule” as a result!), a kingfisher, a great blue heron, and many other birds while out on my daily walks.  I am getting to know the woods and the creek that runs through the woods.

I am honing my photography skills.  When you walk nearly the same paths day after day, you have to be creative with your picture taking.  Or so I thought.  Mother Nature provides plenty of creativity for me to capture.  I am often reminded of the quote about how you can never stand in the same river twice for that is what it is like outdoors every day.  There are always changes and even “the same path” is different if you’re paying attention.

I am also learning things that touch the heart and the soul.  But the nature of this sort of learning makes it difficult to put into words.  It is an expansion or an opening of the heart and the soul as well as a sense of peacefulness that comes with feeling a connection to everything.  I still have about 270+ days to go and expect I will continue to learn a lot along the way.

Update:  25 March 2011

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.  The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.

~ Henry Van Dyke, Fisherman’s Luck

According to the calendar, it is spring here in the Bogs.  But you wouldn’t know it from the weather.  We had snow yesterday.  The temperature dips into the teens overnight and is barely above freezing during the day.  We had a brief warm up which brought out the crocuses.  The daffodils and hyacinths are almost ready to bloom, and the trees are budding.

Even with the cold, it is still a hopeful, beautiful season.

I am happy to write that I kept my commitment throughout the cold, harsh days of winter.  I enjoyed winter more than I usually do.  I attribute that to getting outside and taking the time to get to know the season.  I made friends with the ice, the snow, and the cold.  M and I went on winter hikes, and got out and about on our cross-country skis.

My daily walks have become slow and meditative.  I no longer rush from here to there, most of the time.  On days like today, when it’s cold and a little blustery, I move faster in order to stay warmer.  The brief warm up we had made this cold snap seem colder than it did during the winter months.

This is the third season of my outdoor commitment.  I’m looking forward to learning more about spring.

Update:  21 June 2011

Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.  A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world.

~ Ada Louise Huxtable

Daylily celebrating the Summer Solstice

It’s here.  The last season of my outdoor commitment.  Summer.  Always my least favorite because of the heat and humidity and bugs and stickiness.  I want to turn that around this year, and learn to at least like summer, if not love it.

Spring flew by, going from chilly to hot in the blink of an eye.  I think the heat and humidity have settled in for a while and are likely to last until autumn rolls around again.  The deer flies and mosquitoes are thriving.  But so is beauty.  Everything is so green and lush.  Flowers are blooming everywhere, from the teeniest tiniest little things in the lawn to big showy blossoms such as the lilies.

Having established this wonderful habit of going outside every day, I have decided to continue it even after I have completed my commitment.  Mother Nature has gifts to share each and every day.  All we have to do is step outside and have a look around.

(Note:  I have not kept up with the daily photos of the pond for the slide show.  I just haven’t had the time for it.  I will try to fit in a few more photos before the commitment is over so that there is some coverage for each season.)

Update:  23 September 2011

Commitment creates a powerful radiant energy that activates all sorts of ‘miracles’ within and around you.

~ Susan Jeffers

Autumn is here once again, and I have completed my commitment to get outside every day for a year.  It was a fabulous year in which I learned a lot about nature and the land on which I live.  You can read more about it on the last post of the commitment, 365:  One amazing year.

Thank you so much to those of you who followed and encouraged me, especially on those challenging days when it wasn’t easy to step foot outside.  Your lovely comments kept me going.

I started two new commitments as of 26 September 2011 which include a daily yoga practice and a switch to pescetarianism.  I expect I won’t eat a lot of fish, but decided not to go full-out vegetarian just yet because sometimes it’s difficult to find a good vegetarian or vegan dish when I’m traveling.  Keeping fish on the plate will make things go a little easier when I’m not at home.

35 Comments on “365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge”

  1. […] 365 Life in the Bogs Outdoors Challenge […]

  2. You are doing great so far. I missed Anna starting one.

  3. […] 365 Life in the Bogs Outdoors Challenge […]

  4. starbear says:

    I love this! Had not taken time to look here before! and you are on 126. Nice job – go girl. (Sorry you can’t here me clapping – applause!)

  5. […] up to make a leap, any leap, is fear.  I’ve had to give it up a few times, to carry on with the commitment I made to get outside every day.  I think it was the commitment that gave me the courage to give up the fear so I could make those […]

  6. thumbles says:

    I LOVE THIS! The best I get is morning runs and the occasional day off where I set off in the morning with a backpack full of food and end up back some sometime in the evening. Some of the photos are really awe-inspiring. Take more please.

  7. You are doing great and we are all enjoying reading about it. I also made a commitment to spend more time outdoors after having read about Forest Bathing. Even in the dead of winter I go walking . . . with camera in hand, of course! Looking forward to your next post.

    • Robin says:

      I have never heard of Forest Bathing before, Teresita, and now I’ve seen two mentions of it in the past few days (your comment and someone recently blogged about it). What a great concept!

      Thank you so much for your comment and encouragement. 🙂

  8. […] 365 Life in the Bogs Outdoors Challenge […]

  9. […] 365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge […]

  10. […] 365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge […]

  11. […] 365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge […]

  12. […] 365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge […]

  13. […] 365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge […]

  14. […] 365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge […]

  15. Karma says:

    I never noticed this page – I guess I just always assumed that you were just filing blog posts about the outdoor challenge here. Thanks for sending the link.

    • Robin says:

      You’re welcome, Karma. 🙂

      The pages seem to go unnoticed for some reason. With one exception: The 1-800-I’M-SICK page. That gets tons of hits from all those poor folks calling off sick from their jobs at Wal-Mart.

  16. […] 365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge […]

  17. indiaphare says:

    Beautiful photographs. I love the contrast between the summer and winter images – both so beautiful in such different ways!

  18. […] 365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge […]

  19. […] 365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge […]

  20. […] 365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge […]

  21. […] 365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge […]

  22. […] truly get to know the meadows, the woods, the pond, and all the trails.  When I look back on the Outdoor Challenge from almost three years ago, it almost seems as if this move is the next step on that same path. […]

  23. […] blog or blogs, I did this back in 2010-2011.  You can find the short version of that year posted here.)  I already know it will be far too easy for me to give up on my daily walks.  I have the […]

  24. […]  (Information about that is on my old blog, and you can read a summation of the year on the page 365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge.)  It also taught me that I can honor and complete a year-long […]

  25. […] back when I took on the challenge of getting outside every day, I bought a bag with a shoulder strap that is big enough to hold a journal, a pen, and a few odds […]

  26. […] Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice, and I want to celebrate with some winter images.  The photos are from the archives, taken in 2012, when we had some lovely winter weather (which, for me, means snow).  It’s appropriate, I think, that I’ll be spending the Solstice in the Bogs, where I learned a lot about winter during the Great Outdoor Challenge. […]

  27. […] we were having coffee, I would tell you I’m not sure, but I think the Great Outdoor Challenge is partially responsible for how I feel about Breezy Acres.  Stepping outside every single day for […]

  28. […] the other hand, I have set challenges for myself that have helped me grow and stretch.  The Get Outdoors Challenge, for instance, made a huge difference in my life.  In case you don’t want to follow the […]

  29. […] about it.  I don’t blog about them daily anymore, something I sometimes miss from the year of getting outside everyday (and blogging about it).  If you follow that last link and wonder about being at a different blog, Life in the Bogs is my […]

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