Tag Archives: Nature

Surviving New England in the Arctic!


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Last night was perfect for binge-watching Bill Nye Saves the World on Netflix.  After a day of completing tasks around my room, I binge-watched all six episodes on the first night of 2018.  I didn’t have to work on Tuesday, so it was great to stay in on this cold night.

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But saying that it is cold outside is an understatement here in New England right now.  From where I am in Lynn, it is FREEZING cold out!  Temperatures have been dropping BELOW 20 degrees the past few weeks.  We got some snow on Christmas, but it still didn’t get any warmer later on.

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As a matter of fact, it’s been SO cold out that on some days it was colder than parts of Alaska near the end of December (colder than ALASKA for God sakes!).  I’ve dealt with cold weather the past few years living in the city, but this is just RIDICULOUS!  Very little snow, yet we’re getting dangerously low temperatures outside.

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Well New Englanders – I got good news and bad news.  Here’s the bad news:  It’ll continue to be cold this week and we’re getting a Nor’Easter (a snowstorm for those who don’t know the Boston phrase!) all day Thursday.  The good news?  Temperatures will start to rise a little bit next week.  They’ll be rising up to a range of 20-38 degrees Fahrenheit.

We’re still getting frigid weather the next few days, but we CAN survive through this.  We bounced back during the 2017 Super Bowl and this will go away soon enough.

Just a few tidbits from someone who survived cold days (even weeks) at a time:

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  • If you don’t have any urgent obligations, PLEASE just lay low at home. This is not the type of the weather for any spontaneous event.  You can check out that new restaurant or shop later on when the weather warms up (it’ll STILL be open for business, you know!).  Just complete your essential tasks and head right back home.

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  • For those who are going outside, be sure to bundle up with as many layers as possible. When I mean ‘layers’, I mean LAYERS upon LAYERS of accessories.  Hats, gloves, scarfs, ski masks, boots, and other winter accessories should be put on before you venture out.  You’ll end up looking like Randy from A Christmas Story, but it’s worth it in the end to prevent frostbite from occurring.  This is the type of weather where frostbite occurs and you DON’T catch it.

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  • Eat hot or warm food and drinks throughout the week. Hot foods will help keep your body warmer then the ones set in room temperature.  Soups are perfect hot meals to consume on those cold nights.  Minestrone, French onion, chicken noodle, and even potato soup are perfect meals to have.  For drinks, make some hot cocoa or tea instead of your typical cold beverage.  You’re looking to warm your body up and ice-cold beverage won’t do the trick.

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  • Take the free time during the snow days to catch up on your hobbies/interest. Finish binge-watching the last few episodes of that new series on Netflix or check out that movie you had on your list for a while.  Play that awesome video game you’ve been meaning to check out. Read that book, paint that picture, write that next piece (even a blog post like this one!), craft that design.  You don’t have to be in at work, so take advantage of this chance to catch up on your fun time.  No one will be moving quickly in New England during this horrific blizzard.

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That’s just some advice from someone who survived many cold winters.  It may be seem like Antarctica around areas of New England, but it’ll only last for a short while.  Winter solstice is here and we have to deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at us the next few months.  Who knows, maybe the worst will soon be over and temperatures won’t be so low in the future.

Until then, just lay low inside your warm home and get back to your daily activities these next few weeks.

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Comprehending Colors in Nahant


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Two days ago, I wandered through Black Rock Beach in Nahant.  Black Rock Beach features a small walkway area just a few steps away from Tides restaurant.  This smaller, quainter beach is great for wandering away from the noise within the area.  It stretches for miles from the end of Nahant Beach all the way to Nahant Short Beach.

The day was waning and the weather was becoming cooler.  I sat on the cool sand to watch the sun setting between the buildings.  Colors were slowly fading, with the sun casting silhouette figures.  Noise was quieting down and more people were roaming by to catch this magnificent event happening before them.

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As the water was slowly rippling towards the surface, I noticed this small beam of light coming up front.  I looked slowly up to the base of the line to find that big glowing sun right in front of my eyes.  The sun dominated my view, with silhouetted buildings slowly fading.  That ball of sun was the only thing I was fixated on.

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A few minutes later and things turned even MORE miraculous.  As the sun was plunging deeper into the depths of the earth, a tall ray of light was shooting upwards into the sky.  What used to become the base of a line has now become a middle intersection between two infinite lines.  One ball of sun casting two rays of light away from each other.

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It wasn’t just another beautiful sunset I was witnessing; I was viewing light’s reflection bouncing off upon the air and water.  The light itself generated the colors I see before me and that very same light mirrors off of the atmosphere and the water.  As the sun’s colors was slowly disintegrating, its bright orange color was mirroring off of the clear blue water and sky-blue atmosphere.  These clear blue hues make perfect backdrops for watching nature’s most extraordinary masterpieces.

But what if the colors were different?  What if our atmosphere and water were painted with hues of green or red?  Would it make viewing sunsets much more astounding?  Or would shifting the traditional colors become so catastrophic that it alters our biological system?

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You see that the sky is naturally blue and that the ocean is covered in hues of light green, yet you never stop to wonder why that is.  It isn’t something you learn in school or what someone tells you because you see it yourself.  This is one of those miraculous discoveries you learn in life.  One of the steps in obtaining this kind of knowledge is going deeper down the rabbit hole in figuring out how light is reflected around the earth.  The real fun begins once you ponder about what would happen in certain scenarios.

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Viewing this perfect sunset made me think about the importance of light in nature.  Light is reflecting all across the earth, with hues of lighter colors as the day goes on.  Sunset becomes twilight before heading into dawn and dusk.  Four separate stages of sunset where a myriad of colors bounce back into the water and atmosphere.

I thought it was truly amazing how much color stretches across the sky during the last few minutes of sunlight.  You never know how much you take this scientific information for granted until you experience these events firsthand.

If you want to know anything about color, simply step out into your backyard and watch the sky during the sunset.

Baileys Hill’s Blissful Gem


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Back in Monday I referred to this ‘hidden gem’ I discovered earlier this year.  I’ve lived around Lynn for more than a year and never discovered this incredible landmark within Nahant until this Spring.  Nahant is a quaint, timeless island attached to the rambunctious atmosphere within the city of Lynn.  Surrounded by the vast ocean, Nahant is where you slow down and notice the movements of nature.

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Located at the end of Bass Point Road is Bailey’s Hill.  Bailey’s Hill features park benches as well as a gazebo built near the ocean.  But what really intrigued me about this park was the trail veering off to the right.  And what I discovered at the end of the trail was something truly amazing.

#1 Following the Trail

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With my backpack in hand, I stepped out to the entrance of Bailey’s Hill.  I veered off to the right where I noticed this trail heading up north.  The trail looked like it was inclining higher as you walked further along.  What was this mysterious trail leading me to?  How far would this trail go?  Curiosity got the best of me, so I started walking towards the trail.

          #2 Shrouded in greenery

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          Walking up the path, I am greeted by the shroud of greenery along the sides.  Plants, branches, leaves, and flowers made their place in their neck of the woods.  The sun is slowly waning in the sky, giving off its last jolt of light before taking off for the night.  Shadows are swaying by the plants, hinting that natural darkness is yet to come.   Light gave color to the plants and the darkness is creeping up to steal every inch of it.

          #3 Twisted Tree Dancing

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I took a small break when I noticed a unique group of tree trunks.  These tree trunks were twisting upwards, soaring higher into the blue sky.  Autumn’s foliage is shedding the leaves of their temporary color, only to have them fall to the ground before winter.  Leaves are falling, yet twisty tree trunks continue to fly higher into the sky.  It’s as if life within the tree trunks was still bursting.  What strange symbol could be waiting for me next?

          #4 End of the Trail

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After wandering aimlessly through this curvy path, I stopped to look further ahead.  There it was – just one last leg of the trail left.  More plants and shrubs and trees greeted me near the end as I walked to where the cement met the dirt.  Cement slowly thinned out near the ground as I entered through Nature’s path.

          #5 Trees Hiding Surprise

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            As the path became more and more rugged, I knew that I was heading towards the end of my journey.  I stumbled onto an area where huge trees stood their grounds.  Looking past the growing trees, I noticed a crystal clear blue light shining nearby.  The end is close!

          #6 One Last Path

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Wandering past the trees, I discovered the last path through the exit.  One more small, narrow path leading me to a whole new area of Bailey’s Hill.  The journey has been fun, but I was ready for what lied ahead in the end.  What special area has this miraculous path led me to?

          #7 Paradise

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There it was – paradise.  I reached the end of trail to catch one of the most beautiful sights ever.  Clear blue ocean swirling, seagulls leaping off, the sky painted in hues of pink and orange.

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I traveled quite far from my apartment, walking farther and farther away.  In this land, there was no city.  There were no cars or buses or restaurants or people or drugs or billboards.  Instead, there was only LIFE – Life occurring to the very fullest.

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Seagulls diving into the ocean for clams, barnacles sliding through the slippery rocks, sea salt swiveling around the tide pools, waves crashing ferociously every second.  That right here is how life truly happens – not just for us, but for every living being on this planet.  It’s not about you getting through that crappy job or searching for your soulmate; in reality, it’s about surviving every complexity life has to offer.  What’s truly shocking about this conclusion is that man will never grasp full control of this so-called life!

When I reached closer to the ocean, I realized how small I truly was as I human being.  All of those personal turmoil or sadness washes away into the sea because you stop to realize that you part of something so much BIGGER and GREATER than you ever could imagine.  Those daily problems — collecting enough money for rent or getting through that project – seem completely and utterly superficial when you understand how many other living species are on this Earth.  You are facing the same complexities of life, just like the barnacle sliding through the tide pool or the fish swishing around to avoid predators.

          #8 Nature’s Reward

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          Even when I thought I have seen everything in this incredible area at Bailey’s Hill, it turns out to be even more magnificent.  An orange glow was shining through just a few minutes after taking in the paradise in front of me.  Not only did I come to the end, but the sun was just about to set.  The sun was waning into the ground, casting silhouettes from the distance.  Its orange glow reflected upon the choppy waters, streaming a path straight ahead.

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Minutes passed and the sun was concealed from the silhouetted buildings.  What was once a gold-orange sky was now becoming hues of pink and dark blue.  Sunset was turning to twilight in just the blink of an eye.  It was something you anticipated for, but at the same time its too overwhelming with beauty that you couldn’t believe what was happening.  This was the instance where patience becomes the ultimate virtue in the end.

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That marked the end to my adventure around Bailey’s Hill.  From the leading trail to finding nature’s surprise, the whole experience was outstanding.  This was something you had to discover for yourself, not read about it in some book or article.  The spontaneity made the journey even more mystifying, prompting me to reflect back on my role as a human being here on this earth.  It was one of those days where nothing mattered except this very moment.  Walking through the trail, being greeted by shrubs, viewing the twisted trees branches – those small things made it that much more memorable.

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In the end, the most exciting experience that occurs is the unexpected, spontaneous experience.  It’s truly amazing because you don’t anticipate what happens, yet the fun part is diving head-first into the many surprises life has to offer.  Wandering through the trail at Bailey’s Hill provides that experience every time.