Elk Rapids Almanac
Naturalist Hal Borland wrote that April, the month of the Pink Moon, brings the smell of change. It's a compound of subtle scents-…the earthy smell of soil, stirred by little movements, ant colonies, earthworms, leaf mold, rotting twigs, the smell of flowing water, wet stones, green smell of moss. (See note below) Most of us experience these smells and know it make us feel happy. Science is increasingly recognizing this phenomenon and studying the positive impacts of the soil microbes we inhale and have contact with. The mycobacterium vaccae has been found to mirror the effects on neurons that certain antidepressant drugs (like Prozac) provide. This microbe may stimulate serotonin production, which makes us relaxed and happier. It is being studied for improving cognitive function and other positive effects--all good reasons to take a hike, plant a tree, make a garden, improve our mindset, improve the planet, and celebrate Earth Day every day. _gardeningknowhow.com; Colorado.edu
Note: Twelve Moons of the Year, published posthumously in 1979. Hal Borland (1900-1978) a celebrated nature writer and novelist, penned over 1700 natural history “outdoor editorial” essays for the Sunday edition of the New York Times. He considered himself a natural philosopher, and was interested in exploring the way human life was bound to the greater world of plants, animals, and natural processes. The book is a collection of 365 of his best short pieces.
Sounds of spring! We live on North Bayshore Drive and had a Mourning Dove outside our bedroom window this morning. Loved listening to him! He flew away before we could snap a picture, but we'll try again when he comes back! _Allison Kendall.
A group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers recognized Earth Day this year by planting trees with the Grand Traverse Conservation District on Saturday. We planted pines, cedars and osier dogwoods along the Boardman/Ottaway River in the Brown Bridge quiet area to aid stream bank restoration. The weather was perfect and many hands made light work. _Ann Mcphail.