Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Nature Blog Scavenger Hunt!


I am so honored to have been invited to participate in a Pacific Northwest nature blog scavenger hunt! Want to join in? Here's how to play:
First stop by Kelly's blog and read about the details and get the list of questions you will be finding the answers to. Then hop around to all the blogs, find the answers, and be eligible to win one of several prizes including a nature books, a Discover pass, or a bird pendant. 
Hope you can join in. Should be a lot of fun!

I have lived here in the Pacific Northwest for about seven and a half years now, which is plenty of time to fall in love with a place. Actually, I think I fell in love with it here the first time I ever came-- the vibrant greens, the huge trees, the herons and hawks that are quite common but still stop me in my tracks each time.

To some, it may seem like a forest is a forest, like they are all basically the same. But when you start to pay attention, to really notice the area you are walking through, you start to see defining features of the ecosystem. You start to notice the differences, the uniqueness, of each place that you go. And I love to watch how these places change over time.

To me, the seasons are a way to experience and celebrate the changes in our natural areas. The changes follow the rhythm of nature, one after another, and eventually return back to the beginning. Life starts over. Everything is refreshed. Here in the Portland, we are quickly shifting into spring. It has been a mild winter, without much precipitation, and we are all a bit worried about the summer. It almost seems as if climate change has arrived and smacked us all in the face.

Regardless, the arrival of spring is always a welcome sign. Life starts anew. Colorful blossoms abound. Birds are announcing their presence. Spring in Portland means trilliums, those fleeting flowers that are here one moment and gone the next. It means salamanders migrating from the forests into lakes. It means snails and slugs under every overturned log or garden pot. 

These signs ground me into the cycle of nature, the cycle of life. Without this shift from one season to the next, how would we mark the passage of time? I watch my children grow and change in accordance with the shift in the seasons, always flowing, one into the next.

Even though I have loved this place since the moment I laid eyes on it, over time, I have grown to love it deeply, like a child. I have started to claim it as my own, and to rely on its changes to guide me through my own life. This is where I come for solace, for reflection, for calm, and for connection.  I know that I am extremely lucky to live in a land of such abundance and beauty, and I try to never, ever, take it for granted.

Happy Scavenger Hunting!

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  1. The Pacific Northwest is indeed beautiful! I will be checking out that scavenger hunt. Sounds fun!

  2. I love your writing style and I'm glad to have found your blog through the scavenger hunt!
    Washington State Parks Tour

  3. Beautiful writing! I love your trillium photo... these are my favorite flowers and I'm looking forward to finding them blooming in the woods soon!