Magic in Nature (Guest Post by Jessica Marie Baumgartner)

Nature is magical.  

Whether a cool breeze eases discomfort, birdsong lifts our spirits, or the sky smiles above like a sapphire pool of endless possibilities, the great outdoors remains a constant in our lives. It calls to us. When we listen, we are at our best.  

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Racing the Sun

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Mexican Poppies bloomed in profusion throughout the Superstitions after the plentiful winter rains of 2008.

The four mile climb up the 2,000 foot eastern Superstition Wilderness bajada and escarpment consumed the morning and much of the afternoon.  It was the 80 pound backpack that did it.  Ten days of supplies, tent, equipment and 3.5 gallons (28 pounds) of water; enough food for a trek across the Superstition Wilderness, water enough for two days.  One day in, one day out if the water could not be replenished.  Mine was a water commitment, enough water storage to allow two days to trekking to another source.

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What NOT to Miss When You Visit Virginia Beach

I would like to thank Mohamad Al Karbi for the opportunity to participate in his “Around the World” series. I have truly enjoyed reading about different places and cultures all over the globe.

I’d like to share an insider’s view of my city, Virginia Beach, Virginia. I’ve lived close to “The Beach” my entire life. I went to college in this lively city, and now I’m raising my family here.

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Small Town, USA

I want to start by sincerely thanking Mohamad for inviting me to be a guest here. I have moved several times over the years yet have traveled very little. I want to share with everyone the story of the local area where I have spend my time the last 12 years, Small Town, USA.

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A Whistle Stop Tour Of The Lakeland Fells

Locals call it the “Wet Sahara”, a bronze expanse of muddy sands stretching as far as the eye can see, snaking into spiral patterns, light dancing off scattered pools; overhung by a sky straight from a William Blake painting – perpendicular shafts of silver breaking from between the pregnant clouds.

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