Reading a recent article “Taking Tree-Hugging to New Heights” by Benjamin Percy in the Wall Street Journal (10-16-10), I cannot help but think that this childhood sport will only continue to grow. The article describes the tree climbing program in Eugene, Oregon where you can not only climb trees but spend the night. As the article so aptly puts it “tree climbing has become a vacation destination due to some childish nostalgia, eco-awareness and an appreciation of spider-like thrill of swinging from ropes.”
The mind wanders to the Boomers and how they are helping to fuel this and other eco-pursuits. The idea of climbing trees, in this context, is meant more for the adventure of the sport as well as to be able to re-live childhood activities. We can expect to see more of these things “nature pursuits” being incorporated into all kinds of programs as the Boomers move closer to more free time and disposable income. The Morris Arboretum recently opened the “Out on a Limb’ exhibit in which you can spend time elevated in the trees high above the ground – www.morrisarboretum.org
If you want to attract more of the environmentally conscious older adults, consider incorporating, not just tree climbing activities. How about a big tree house that you can actually spend time in and spend the night in? Maybe the grand kids will want to visit and have a sleep over with you in the tree house. We need to explore the ways in which we can create environments that enable people to get closer to and be a part of nature.
Some sites to visit include pacifictreeclimbing.com for information on tree climbing adventures in the US. If you have been yearning to stay overnight in a tree house, visit www.treehotel.se to see where you can sleep up in the trees. To read more from the article in the WSJ, visit http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703467004575464073401007574.html?mod=WSJ_ArtsEnt_TravelRead more
OCTOBER GENERATIONS NEWSLETTER
DAILY DOSE OF SUNSHINE
Fall is here and as the amount of daylight lessens, we find ourselves spending more time indoors. Researchers have found that during the months of the year when there is decreasing sunlight we produce less serotonin, which helps to elevate our moods. This helps to explain why many people feel depressed and lethargic during the fall and winter months. We can increase our levels of serotonin by spending more time outside during these months. Taking daily walks is the natural way to reduce feelings of depression. (Archives of General Psychiatry, 2008)
There is still time to plan for growing fresh herbs during the winter. Many of the grocery stores and farmers markets still have fresh potted herbs for sale. These plants do well on a window sill during the winter months. Find a south facing table or window ledge that you use to grow herbs during the winter months. Try growing basil, rosemary, thyme, sage and other herbs that you use in cooking. You will appreciate being able to tend to a small indoor garden and your recipes will also benefit.
The fall season is a good time to plan for next year’s garden. As we spend time pruning back the perennials, cleaning up the spent plants and other autumn garden chores, take notice of what did and did not work this season. Are there some plants that struggled due to a lack of water? Are some plants too aggressive and spreading too quickly? Were some plants just placed in the wrong location? Write these ideas down on a note pad – and hang it in a place where you will see in next spring! It will help you get a jump start on your garden next spring.
SHARE THE WEALTH
As you think ahead to the garden next year, it is possible to expand the garden space a little more to share with others? Think about planting some extra vegetables or flowers to donate to a local food bank or homeless shelter. You will feel good about helping others and they will appreciate the fresh produce and floral arrangements.
We tend to identify Mum’s (Chrysanthemum) as an autumn plant to add to our gardens for fall displays. The Chinese have been planting it a little longer that us. They consider this a ‘noble’ plant and have cultivated forms of chrysanthemums for more than twenty-five hundred years. The current version of the plant (C. X mortifolium) was exhibited in England in 1795. The plants today are widely used in England and America. However, in Italy, the flowers are associated with funerals and are not used for any other purpose.
October 18th is the feast day of St. Luke and marks the time of year know as St. Luke’s Little Summer. This is the name given to the spell of warm weather that may occur around the time of the feast day.
EXTEND THE SEASON
A final thought to the conversations about the fall season – try to find more ways to stay outside. One of the ways may be to continue to plan bar-b-ques and cookouts. On a recent visit to one senior community, the staff was hard at work hosting a lunch time ‘manning the grill’ – cooking hot dogs and cheese burgers for the elders of the community (picture below).
“He that plants trees loves others besides himself.” – Thomas Fuller (1732)Read more