Where has Amanda (The Nature Fan) been lately?

I’m Amanda, the “Nature Fan,” and I have been gone awhile. I took a year off from posting on here (and everywhere else), and I apologize for that. The original purpose of my blog was to write about my outdoor activities and curate other nature stories around the web that I found interesting. I have…

My Thoughts on ‘Place Attachment’

It’s been a week since the Jane’s Walk celebration weekend around the world, and I’ve been thinking more about how Jane Jacobs led the way in advocating for a place-based, community-centered approach to urban planning — now called the placemaking movement. The placemaking movement is focused on strengthening the elements that make places engaging, livable,…

What Was Your First Sign of Spring?

While out on a walk today, I noticed all the trees in the area were beginning to bud. Though the weather forecast here in the Mid-Atlantic is calling for snow on Friday, the unmistakable signs of spring are well on their way — like this budding/blooming maple tree in my front yard. And it couldn’t…

Through the Eyes of a Vegetarian

Deprivation never (ever!) comes to mind when I consider the lifestyle I’ve chosen as a vegetarian. For me, eating compassionately is like eating in color when before, I thought there was only black and white. Instead of scarcity, choosing to leave animals out of my diet fills me with a spirit and appetite of abundance.…

Throwback Thursday: Jewels of Spring

This is one of my favorite pictures of last year’s vernal pool research at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary. It’s always hard to get a good shot of this because of the sun’s glare on the surface of the water. A vernal (spring) pool is a seasonal wetland. It springs up (pun intended) after winter’s snow…

Hiking Rocky Gap

Our view when we arrived at Rocky Gap State Park, MD. Most trees had lost their color, but those that hadn’t were still vibrant. There was actually a beach on the lake,.. and geese, and geese poop… Having some fun the day we arrived (a day before the hike). It was 34 degrees, so we…

How is a motorcycle like an ant?

I am forever finding similarities between man-made objects and specific items in nature. I remember the first time I voiced my observations aloud. It was back when I was in college. I was with friends at the Houston Rodeo, and we were watching the featured musical act scheduled for that day. The light show that…

My healing nature walk

Just this past Tuesday I noticed I was coming down with a cold. Along with my customary teas, I knew that rest and connecting with nature would make me feel better. Since I also had the day off, I made sure I did nothing but that. It was such a beautiful day (and I didn’t…

August is over, but our adventures continue

American Adventures Month ends today. I hope you had a great time in all of your adventures. I know I did. However, I wish I’d had more time over the summer to spend on more adventures. Work kept getting in the way, and it’s not like it was regular work either. The type of “work”…

Girl finally gets day off, sits outside

Yesterday I finally had a day off after 10 full days in a row of work. I’m talking real work, like 10 hours a day on my feet work. That’s right, in the past 10 days I’ve worked 100 hours without a full day off – and inside, not outside! I was ready to kill…