A “Nourishing Hike” at the American River, 11-08-17

I helped to lead a “Nourishing Hike” with my coworkers Nate and Bill, and two instructors from the Yoga Seed Collective, Sydney and Jonathan, at the American River Bend Park.  Nate and I both got to the park around 7:30 am, and everyone showed up by a little after 8:00 am.  The two instructors from the Yoga Seed (a man and a woman) put us through about 20 minutes of stretches before we started the walk… I was taking photos and didn’t do all of the stretches, but I thought it was such a treat to have them there.

CLICK HERE to see the album of photos.

It was overcast, but not raining. The dark skies meant few bird sightings and no critters… but the exercise was good.

The walk was casual and people were allowed to move at their own pace. At different points along the way, I showed the participants some interesting feature or shared some fun facts about what we were  seeing along the trail. I love doing that; get to stretch my naturalist muscles!

At one point, I got stung by some Yellow Jackets. It was my own fault. I stepped in too close to their underground nest so I could get photos of the opening — and the soldiers came out to defend their fort. I got stung on the leg and on the stomach; super-ouchy but I’m not allergic to them. Those beasties can keep in stinging, so we vacated that spot quickly.

We walked for about two hours and then everyone headed back to their own homes/offices. Several of the participants thanked me for my expertise and encouraged me to do more walks like this one (especially in the spring when the park is really beautiful).

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Mary K. Hanson is a breast cancer survivor who, at age 61, took coursework to become a Certified California Naturalist. The author of “The Chubby Woman’s Walkabout”™ blog, Ms. Hanson has also written nature-based feature articles published in regional newspapers, authored over ten books, including her "Cool Stuff Along the American" series of guide books, and has had her photographs featured in books, articles, calendars, on the American River Parkway Foundation’s Instagram stream, and even the White House blog. This year Ms. Hanson is helping to launch and teach a new Certified California Naturalist course through Tuleyome, in partnership with the University of California and the Woodland Library, so members of the public can themselves become certified as naturalists in the state. All of the photos seen on her website were taken by Ms. Hanson herself (unless noted otherwise) with moderate- to low-end photographic equipment more easily affordable to the everyday nature enthusiast. She also occasionally leads photo-walks through the American River Bend Park for the public and is sometimes available for public speaking.