September 3, 2019

"A quick note about forest therapy guides... they’re not identifying trees or sharing historical facts."

"Rather, forest therapy guides lead participants on a quiet walk through nature, drawing them out of their heads and into their senses by inviting them to see, hear, feel, and even taste what is around them. One person may lean against a tree and smell the bark of a Ponderosa pine (which I discovered can smell like butterscotch) while someone else may splash in a stream, meaning each person has a different experience.... As calm and relaxed as I felt in the woods, I still struggled to quiet my mind. Instead of observing my surroundings and enjoying the peacefulness, I tended to over-analyze my reactions and turn experiences into metaphors for life in general. During an invitation to focus on the various sounds around us, my attention immediately went to the most dominant sounds, the water babbling in the spring and the rain drizzling onto the ground. Were the dominant sounds low hanging fruit in the world of sounds? Was this a metaphor for my laziness?"

From "Forget Weed. Colorado's Hottest Trend is Forest Bathing. The Japanese practice has become popular around the world, and the Rocky Mountains in particular are experiencing a surge in interest" (The Daily Beast).

By the way, the title got me ranting about how you shouldn't have to travel to Colorado to commune with nature like this and the whole idea seems to have more to do with a precise encounter with a smaller space so the advice should be to walk slowly and mindfully in a nearby woods or park. But then I got to the last few sentences of the article:
For those of us who don’t live near a forest, know that heavily wooded areas aren’t required to enjoy the benefits of forest bathing. Head to a local park, a nearby trail, your favorite beach, a lake, a river, or just about any natural environment. Step outside during your lunch break to notice the scents and sounds—just be sure to silence your phone! Simply be present and bathe your senses in nature.
The author, Cassandra Brooklyn, agrees with me. The headline is just click-bait bullshit. The concept "hottest trend" is so dull and so inherently unbelievable.

As for the "Forget Weed" part — there's nothing about marijuana in the article. The author refers to Colorado: it's where she did her forest bath and we're told there's "a forest therapy guide training program... this September filled up many months in advance." There's a career opportunity, but maybe that's because of the legalized marijuana. I would think that the "forest therapy guide" career is big in Colorado partly because of the marijuana. You've got the great scenery for hiking, but who's up for really really slow mind-focused hiking where you want a caring person to accompany you? I'm thinking it's old Boomers getting themselves to Colorado for a safe, comfortable weed experience!

Could you enjoy the job of Colorado forest therapy guide? I could see getting the training and doing it for a few seasons while keeping a journal about it and then writing a book. That is, the real career would be author. But you'd be a half-assed therapist if that were your agenda, and if I could bear to do it, I'd be beating myself up for my terrible ethics, and then that would get in the journal and I would know that nobody's going to want to read that, and the whole thing would be a bust.

How about you? Could you thrive as a forest therapy guide? Would you want to forest bathe with a forest therapy guide? Would you want to forest bathe without a guide? With or without weed?

If you had to forest bathe and you could only have one — forest therapy guide or weed — which would you pick?
 
pollcode.com free polls

97 comments:

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

My first thought was how screwed up PDJT must have the economy to have people taking up careers in Forest Therapy.

Seriously, I think that the fact that the American economy can support such silliness is a great example of how great a president PDJT is.

John Henry

Sebastian said...

"the real career would be author. But you'd be a half-assed therapist if that was your agenda, and if I could bear to do it, I'd be beating myself up for my terrible ethics, and then that would get in the journal and I would know that nobody's going to want to read that, and the whole thing would be a bust."

IOW, Althouse isn't one to quiet her mind.

Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Ann Althouse said...

The end of this post has a Dr. Seuss vibe.

I'm thinking: "Would you? Could you? In a car? Eat them! Eat them! Here they are."

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

My second thought was that this may be a new career for Meade:

Lawn and Garden Therapist

By making such a nice garden and landscaping, he keeps Ann calm.

Sort of like last week. My wife was getting anxious about the way the lawn was looking. So I had my lawn therapist over. He cut the grass and got my wife calmed down.

About that, anyway. Now I need a dishwashing/housekeeping therapist.

John Henry

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Remember, you can't spell therapist without The Rapist!

John Henry

gilbar said...

Ponderosa pine (which I discovered can smell like butterscotch)
the smell she's looking for, is Vanilla; pay attention, people!

If you had to bathe in the forest; the guide could watch for oncoming hikers, bears; etc

rhhardin said...

Having spent every kid summer vacation in the Adirondacks high peak region, I remember the mosquitos.

mockturtle said...

What happened to 'none of the above'?

rhhardin said...

The great thing about bike riding is no mosquitos.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Blogger rhhardin said...

Having spent every kid summer vacation in the Adirondacks high peak region, I remember the mosquitos.

And black flies that would bite huge chunks out of your skin and regarded Off as a condiment or flavor enhancer.

(Hague, Lake George)

John Henry

mockturtle said...

Anyone who needs a 'therapist' to enjoy the beauty of nature probably needs at least some kind of therapist.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

I love to hike so it could be a dream job. I'm not that thrilled with out-of-towners.

Go away. Colorado is full.

rcocean said...

You need a dry pine forest at a high altitude to get away from the mosquitoes.

Yes, sit down, close your eyes and relax in the woods. Commune with nature. Ignore that Big Cat creepy up behind you.

rcocean said...

Yep. take out the people and its a great job.

JRoberts said...

Ann, don't you have a "lightweight religion" tag that should be used here?

mockturtle said...

The great thing about bike riding is no mosquitos.

I've collected quite a few gnats, especially if I'm wearing white. May have swallowed a few, too...

The Minnow Wrangler said...

Is it really so unusual and special just to take a walk outside? What is wrong with these people that they need to travel to Colorado and pay a "forest therapy guide" to help them enjoy the outdoors? Just go...there are trees and birds and insects everywhere.

Does everything have to be a medical issue? Is it OK to just say, "I need some fresh air?"

Biff said...

I'd enjoy the job of Colorado forest therapy guide as long as I didn't have any patients.

SDaly said...

Cassandra is a travel expert, freelance writer, and the founder of EscapingNY, a travel consultancy specializing in off-the-beaten path travel around the world.

Fodor's

Jim said...

First world problems. in the past, in the wilderness, people who dawdled and wandered about, meditated on nature, were called 'dinner'.

Big Mike said...

Instead of observing my surroundings and enjoying the peacefulness, I tended to over-analyze my reactions and turn experiences into metaphors for life in general.

People in the forest who don't pay attention to their surroundings become prey.

The Minnow Wrangler said...

...and yes I totally understand that depressed and anxious people have a hard time getting themselves out of the house. Having experienced this myself.

But whenever I babysit my granddaughter (3.5 years old), I try to take her for a walk around the neighborhood, maybe just a couple of blocks. She loves seeing the butterflies, flowers, pine cones, mud puddles, etc. She likes to pick up rocks and sticks and when we see an ant hill on the sidewalk we kneel down to get a better look. Should I call my self a "forest therapist" now?

Jeff said...

Forest therapy how-to:
1. Go to forest and lie down
2. Observe as fire ants, black flies, mosquitos, ticks and chiggers sink their mandibles into you.
3. Jump up and scratch furiously.
4. Repeat until it dawns on you that maybe civilization isn't such a bad thing after all.

buwaya said...

This is why kings built hunting lodges.
And a lot about why they hunted.
It’s sort of like taking up golf as an excuse for strolling around in a garden.

Fen said...

I picked Forest Therapy Guide.

"You can can estimate the dimensions of the hole you need to dig by glancing at fellow SJWs to your left and right. Now put your backs into it. First one done gets our Survivor Award and a free ticket to back next weekend" - Fen the Forest Therapy Guide.

Oso Negro said...

Speaking of travel, I am sitting in the airport in St. Louis and just saw a woman traveling with an emotional support Rottweiler. Our society may not have hit peak insanity, but I hope we are getting close.

SDaly said...

The article is a scam, a veiled ad for the author's business. I don't believe a single word was authentic. Do you think these are the true thoughts of a travel consultant who specializes in "off-the-beaten" path travel: "If you’re like me, maybe you’re thinking: ‘Forest bathing? Sounds like a bunch of hippies skinny-dipping in the woods.'"

Ann Althouse said...

"Sort of like last week. My wife was getting anxious about the way the lawn was looking. So I had my lawn therapist over. He cut the grass and got my wife calmed down."

The lawn therapist would not change the lawn. The lawn therapist would accompany you as you slowly and sensuously experienced the lawn. You would find a way beyond the internal chatter about what's wrong with the lawn and the lawn would nourish you from within. And you should be so lucky as to have Meade as your lawn therapist.

Fen said...

And you should be so lucky as to have Meade as your lawn therapist.

Does he come in shorts? If so, I might be enticed.

Ann Althouse said...

"What happened to 'none of the above'?"

I want you to go out into the woods and reflect on that for 2 hours. You will know.

The Minnow Wrangler said...

Jeff @9:46:

This reminds me of the Grateful Dead song, "Sugar Magnolia". There is a line, "We can discover the wonders of nature, rolling in the rushes down by the riverside." I love that song but whenever I hear that it makes me wonder if they have ever been near an actual river, with rocks piled up on the banks, lots of scratchy bushes and poison ivy, black flies, mosquitoes, etc. Pretty much the last place I would want to lay down and discover the "wonders of nature" LOL.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, don't you have a "lightweight religion" tag that should be used here?"

The closer tag is "religion substitutes," but something about the way this article was written made me not think about it as religion-ish.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

I met a local on a hike outside of CB a few weeks ago and he knew all the wildflower names. You don't need to hire a guide. Just do it. Just strap on the shoes and go. Say hello to fellow hikers who are there for similar reasons. If you're on a hike, you help others or you get help from others. I parked below and got a ride up with some nice people from MN. You get out of it what you get out of it, and what you put into it.

He was so excited to find late season glacier lilies still blooming. metoo#

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

It used to be that you could find a spot up high and be alone. Not anymore.
The hikes are popular and made more popular because of social media.
If you need to be alone to be at one with nature --- good luck with that.

Laslo Spatula said...

I will discreetly follow them with my Therapy Chainsaw.

I am Laslo.

traditionalguy said...

It's the silence that works the therapy. A great experience is deep inside Redwood National Park among the living giants and the fallen giants.That experience can never be replicated in a peopled place. That is found a 3 hour drive north of San Francisco.

We also get a walks closer to home in the Smokey Mountains hiking trails on the far side of lake Fontana where of the road to no where ends.No human habitation has been there since 1944.

Kevin said...

In the future there will be Guides that take people through Central Park.

People will have lost the ability to venture in there on their own.

Mr. Forward said...

Tree here now.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Actually Laslo - with all the standing dead pine-beetle kill, your chainsaw is welcome.
Now, get busy.

Kevin said...

If you had to forest bathe and you could only have one — forest therapy guide or weed — which would you pick?

How are you supposed to enjoy the forest if everyone is smoking weed?

Talk about pollution!

mockturtle said...

It used to be that you could find a spot up high and be alone. Not anymore.
The hikes are popular and made more popular because of social media.
If you need to be alone to be at one with nature --- good luck with that.


Alaska, Bleach-Bit. You'd love it.

Re pine beetles: I'm currently in BC and have noticed that, in some areas, the infestation has killed 1/3-1/2 of the trees. Fire is the only thing that will take care of it and, in Alaska and BC, the local forestry people know how necessary lightning-caused wildfire is to the renewal of forests, as unpleasant as it is for most of us.

chuck said...

Could you enjoy the job of Colorado forest therapy guide?

Bet they get a lot of poontang.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George Grady said...

Sometimes a walk in the woods is just a walk in the woods. What is it with doing things that people have been doing for forever, but acting like it's something new with some new deep meaning? So many people seem to believe the world began yesterday and is going to end tomorrow.

jaydub said...

The Minnow Wrangler said...She likes to pick up rocks and sticks and when we see an ant hill on the sidewalk we kneel down to get a better look. Should I call my self a "forest therapist" now?"

No, you are a grandparent. If more kids had one like you they probably wouldn't need any type of therapist later in life. BTW, I still remember walks in the woods and fields with my own grandpa.
.

William said...

Lee Israel was a failing, alcoholic writer who hit upon the scheme of stealing celebrity letters from library archives or of sometimes just counterfeiting them. Over a period of three years, she made $40,000 from this line of work. When she got caught, she was given probation. The heavens don't cry for retribution when celebrity letters get stolen. She wrote a book about the experience. I don't know what her advance was, but my guess is that it beat the $40,000 she made with her celebrity letters scam. Now that the book has been made into an excellent movie, Can You Ever Forgive Me, she has also achieved lasting fame--albeit posthumously.....There you have it. Crime doesn't pay unless you can think of a really interesting crime that people don't get too annoyed about. Instersectionality. Crime plus writing ability pays.

William said...

With the right forest guide, I think Harvey Weinstein could have had a healing experience among the forest foliage. Potted plants just can't compete with the grandeur of real trees.

Meade said...

"This reminds me of the Grateful Dead song, "Sugar Magnolia"."

She's my Summer Love in the spring, fall and winter
She could make happy any lawn therapist alive

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

"Retail Bathing" is what goes on over here.
(ok now i'm getting dirty looks)

Seeing Red said...

No I would not thrive as a guide.

Just the thought of poison ivy. . Snakes. .

That doesn’t mean I don’t go into the woods every now and then.

Or I can’t listen to the coyote pack running down my street yapping.

whitney said...

That would be more fun with mushrooms. Though you want to be cautious about the strangers

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

I'd love to visit Alaska, Mock-T.

rhhardin said...

If you cut the lawn with a scythe, not all kinds and lengths of grass cut the same way. Constant changes of technique are needed.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Having spent every kid summer vacation in the Adirondacks high peak region, I remember the mosquitos”

Actually, very few mosquitos this year in the Ponderosa Pines here in NW NV. May be because it was maybe a bit cooler and drier. Except that we also haven’t had any fires of Note, so far at least.

As with a lot of things, you see a different side of things when you see it all the time. We have a really big one, and a moderate one, along with a fir or two within touching distance of the front porch. Probably at least a half dozen big Ponderosa dropping needles on the roof. That is a lot of needles. Esp since these Ponderosa are notably bigger than the ones I grew up with in CO. Had a teenaged grandson and his friend up on the roof with a push broom brushing them off, except that they knocked off a dozen shingles while they were at it. Need to get a roofer in before winter to fix that. Would have been cheaper to have had the roofer do the needles in the first place, and that wouldn’t have had a fretting grandmother supervising the whole whole endeavor. Who also insisted that I grossly overpay them. The big Ponderosa also dump a lot of big pine cones. When that grandson was much younger, his grandmother would bribe him and his older brother to pick them up. I think that it was 25¢ per cone, and those two boys would look forward to their trip up here every year just because they would go home with so much loot.

The pathetic thing is that my yard work every year consists of removing needles and cones (mostly Ponderosa Pine, but also some Fir and Spruce) from the roof and yard, mowing and weed whacking the wild grass once or twice a year, and hauling it all to the dump. (No, you don’t burn it, if you want to stay out of jail). The pathetic part is that I procrastinate so badly. The reason we have to do it is that the forest fires have gotten so bad in recent years. So, of course, I tripled my work last fall, when I bought two adjoining lots.

Somehow, earlier this summer, after one of my neighbors, who grew up here called our Ponderosa Pines something else (Bull Pine?), I looked it up on Wikipedia. Here is the entry: Pinus ponderosa. I was surprised to find that there were several major western subspecies and varieties. that I have lived close to. The ones in this part of MT are Pinus ponderosa subsp. ponderosa. Down in Colorado, they have Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum. Different for Flagstaff and Tahoe too. Experts can tell them apart. I sure can’t, except maybe by size.

On the flip side, one of the lots I bought is across the street, adjacent to a neighbor’s lot. He came over and asked if he could take a couple of my trees down because they were dumping pine needles on his roof. I went over there with him, and had to tell him that those weren’t Ponderosa Pines. They were Firs, and the pine needles were all coming from two big trees on the other side of his house. Mature Ponderosa Pines dump an awful lot of needles (and cones) every year. Those trees aren’t coming down anytime soon, but I did agree to having his Ponderosa Pines dropped across my property, subject, of course to an indemnity agreement. (Know a guy who has probably has cut these trees down for 70 years now end up a month or two ago dropping one on someone’s roof. Broke the roof, of course, but they were going to tear it down anyway - point is, even experts screw up once in awhile).

Mr. Groovington said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joel Winter said...

One of my best memories with my sons was a day that we went to a park, got on our bellies, and just looked at one square foot of grass. The longer we looked, the more we saw. Bugs. Leaves. Dirt. Sand. Trash. Bits of this and that. We picked through it, moved it, and saw even more.

One square foot, randomly chosen, anywhere. Ten or fifteen minutes of an otherwise hidden, silent world.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Well, we got back yesterday from our camping in the woods. Elevation 3800 ft or so. About the same as where we live. Nice area with very few people around. Few people means not a lot of human sounds, like screaming children or drunken adults. Most who camp in the general vicinity where we do are looking for peaceful solitude.

Lots of trees. Shade, dappled sun. NO mosquitoes!! because it gets really cold at night even this time of year. Beautiful creek nearby that we can hear burbling merrily through the bushes on the banks. Pretty rocks to look at. I always take one to put into my rock and succulent garden in our yard. Listening to the wind going through the trees at night and the pine needles sounding like rain when the fall on the trailer. A couple of times pine cones to startle you out of sleep.

We can sit in our chairs and listen to the birds, many of which I haven't heard at our location. Coyotes or maybe even a wolf pack howling and growling way off in the distance at night. Very mysterious, eerie and a bit threatening. Stay in the camper at night!

Who needs some guide to babble on about.... whatever!! That would totally destroy the experience.

Then we can come home and sit on our deck. Look at the rive and fields below. Watch the little song birds enjoying the bird baths in our yard. Watch the quail thinking they are sneaking up over the hill to eat the magic food that appears in the wooded area behind out house. Hint. We are the magicians.

Nature is everywhere. EVEN in parts of a city. You don't need a guide. You just use your own ears and eyes and just be quiet. Shut up and enjoy the world.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Go away. Colorado is full.”

Part of why I am in MT now. My grandfather homesteaded in SW CO better than a century ago, and moved to Denver in maybe 1924. Still have two brothers in the foothills, west of Golden, with Ponderosa Pine problems of their own. My kid grew up there, but is now doing the city thing down in Golden. My Ponderosa are a bit bigger, on average, than theirs are, but Ponderosa Pines, none the less. But I am five minutes from a National Forest that covers the west end of this county thickly in these trees. And I can be somewhere where I am unlikely to see someone, in those woods, in 15 minutes, in all four directions. We had that growing up at my grandparents’s ranch. It was at the end of a road that provided the only access to a valley in a Nat Forest. We pretty much had that to ourselves. But now, the CO front range, all the way to the Continental Divide, and beyond, has turned into a zoo on the weekends.

Ralph L said...

Bruce, I had the yuge pecan tree at my back door cut down this summer for a similar reason and immediately regretted it. Something falls from them most of the year, and an older one crushed my dad's car during our last hurricane. Then there's the mist of aphid poop sticking to everything and turning sooty. But it would have to be done eventually, and I want to regrade & replant the back yard.

Do you have a fire break (brake?) around your house?

Fernandistein said...

No forest bathing for me, please, I don't like trees seeing me naked if they're naked.

Speaking of which, and M.K. Brown...

If you need to be alone to be at one with nature --- good luck with that.

Two words: The Western Slope.

rehajm said...

Do I have this right that the forest therapy guide is instead of the weed? I mean getting high and walking through the woods sounds like a profitable tour for Colorado and there's someone along to make sure you don't fall down, to carry extra insect repellent, etc. You know, like a cool mom to accompany you on your 'journey'...

Bob Boyd said...

If you can't go out and wander around in the woods for a couple hours without hiring an "expert" to make sure you're doing it right, chances are you went to a really good school.

Bob Boyd said...

I can be somewhere where I am unlikely to see someone, in those woods, in 15 minutes, in all four directions.

Shhhh.

Francisco D said...

Isn't this a natural offshoot of Outward Bound?

A lot of Baby Boomer psychologists were involved in it.

MayBee said...

Is Forest Bathing really a Japanese thing? I haven't lived there in a while, but when I did I never once heard of it, although I went hiking there.

MayBee said...

I feel like whatever people want you to do, they say it's a Japanese thing. Tidy up! Forest bathe! Let men smell your panties!

The Minnow Wrangler said...

Meade, LOL

"Sometimes when the cuckoo's crying, when the moon is halfway down, sometimes when the night is dying, I take me out and I wander around, wander 'round."

We used to take lots of kids camping and backpacking. We would take them hiking in the dark without flashlights or headlamps (although we had them in our pockets for emergency situations). It is amazing how well you can see in the dark if you don't have any artificial light.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Bruce H -
CO front range is a zoo, period.
Mountains are a zoo.
Roads are a zoo.
Boulder is a zoo. 40,000 students just arrived. It's a zoo.

I want to thank Obama's D convention, the D's in general, and weed. oh - I mean, go f yourselves, Obama, D's, and weed.
Not to mention the transients, homelessness, and drug addicts and the crime. The D's like to roll out the welcome matt.
Thanks!

Narr said...

I can sit on the patio and listen. After a while, I become aware of the bird song, and it makes me want to know which species sings up high "Ritzy ritzy ritzy" and who answers, slower and lower, "For cheap! For cheap!"

Narr
Location location location

Bill Peschel said...

I took the weed option, because I could throw it away and enjoy nature without it or the silly guides.

I swear, some days it makes me regret we came down out of the trees.

Rosalyn C. said...

Where I am living the local woods have enclaves of homeless, weed smoking, heroin addicts. It's not that I've ever been threatened but it's gross and I really don't feel safe going into the woods alone. The last thing I would need or want is weed. So I voted for the forest therapy guide as long as he/she kept quiet.

I used to commune with nature exploring in the woods behind our house as a child but now I commune with local trees. I think golf courses are a terrific resource.

The Minnow Wrangler said...

Narr...probably a cardinal, although I always think they are saying "pretty pretty pretty" and then something like "to weep, to weep, to weep." That would be the same bird.

Clyde said...

Not interested in breathing in any kind of smoke, so forest therapy guide it is. Now, if the other choice had been beer, or whiskey, or some other form of alcohol... Well, I do get thirsty.

Clyde said...

Also, isn't this article a violation of Daily Beast's mission that all articles must have a negative Trump reference?

Mr. Groovington said...

Talking about forest therapy, anyone remember the last dozen paragraphs of Douglas Coupland's Life after God?

Narr said...

Thankee MW, cardinals we have by the college. But I've never seen one in full throat.
Owls, now . . .

Narr
Mr. G@107--I'm sure someone does!

ceowens said...

I've mentioned this before and probably will again. When I walk 200 feet East from my back door, I am on 76,000 (seventy six thousand) acres of public (vacant) land.

Lou M said...

I don't know about how therapeutic the forest bathing experience is, but virtually all groundwater in the Colorado mountains is contaminated with a very nasty bacteria that will make you sick as hell if you drink it or get it in your GI system. Come to think of it, I suppose days of diarrhea and vomiting is a type of cleansing therapy.

Peter said...

Some forest therapy guides many go on to be authors, but I'm guessing a lot parlay their experience into becoming life coaches. Same blather, different shit.

Bob Boyd said...

I had a life coach once. He benched me.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Do you have a fire break (brake?) around your house?”

Kinda. Winds blow generally west to east, and almost never the other way. That means that fires almost always run easterly. We have a big river to the south and west. Highway to the north, which had just crossed the river. We are just north of the river, and it is narrow between river and cliffs on the north side of the river west of the bridge. And we have a rocky hill between us and the town to the east. Mostly farmland on the valley floor to the west (on the south side of the river). Two ways fire gets to us. First, along the narrow northern shore, or the cliffs above. Or the fire swings north from the southern ridge and jumps the river. But even in the massive fire of 1910, that burned everything from well within ID to about 5 miles west of us (at least 80 miles by road), the embers were cold by the time they got across the river.

Still, it can be worrisome. Maybe three years ago, when my father went into hospice, I flew back to CO to see him, and left my partner alone. There was a fire about 5 miles east of us. When I left for the Spokane airport, it was maybe 600 acres. That night, it ran 10 miles NE, and was up to maybe 6,000 acres by the time I got on the plane. It settled down there for the next month, until it started to cool down a lot. Very rugged territory to fight fires in. It was mostly above and on the 2,000 ft cliffs that run along the highway. But surprisingly, the only building it took out was an old abandoned fire lookout. The county has a (human) populating density of about 3.4 people per square mile, and most of them are in the valley floor by that big river. Back to my partner - she was a mess while I was gone. Worried that it would reverse course, and come roaring back west. I kept telling her that that fire would have to burn through town, the county seat, against prevailing winds. And, yes, houses do burn, but not nearly as hot as the crown fire running through the 100+ ft trees 5-15 miles east of us. Horrible to think that the town would have been our fire break - but it would have done the job.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Boulder is a zoo. 40,000 students just arrived. It's a zoo.‘

Kid got their PhD there a year ago, after living in the PRB for five years. Now down in Golden, but working just east of Boulder in Lafayette/Louisville. Much mellower, but they miss biking everywhere, and bikers being kings in Boulder. At their dissertation defense, I found out from their advisor that they had had a spill on the snow, where they got cut up and black and blue a bit. Didn’t bother telling the parents. Still, after a year there, they have come to the realization that for young working people, Golden is much better. Esp for the childless. A lot of restaurants, brew pubs, etc that you can walk to. And as close as you can get to getting out of town to the west, either on I-70 or US 6.

Bruce Hayden said...

Talking about PRB (People’s Republic of Boulder) insanity: Boulder Cracks Down on Vaping, Tobacco Sales

The Boulder, Colorado, city council voted last week to ban sales of flavored vaping products, raised the age to buy tobacco and nicotine products to 21, and will ask voters in November to approve a whopping 40% sales tax on whatever vaping products are still legal. In addition, stores will be restricted to selling "no more than two e-cigarettes or four associated products, including vapor refills, to any one person in any 24-hour period."

Of course, there's no restriction on sales just outside of Boulder, and nothing stopping buyers from shopping at two stores in one day. Jacob Sullum reported in February on a study that revealed that "smokers who switch to Juul e-cigarettes see the same reductions in biomarkers of exposure to hazardous chemicals as smokers who quit without vaping." When I quit smoking about 15 years ago, vaping might have seriously eased a difficult, halting, three-year process.
...
Boulder's new laws come despite a warning from retired ATF assistant director Rich Marianos that the city was creating a new black market for nicotine users. Marianos said, "When we put in a prohibition, we create crime, just like when we tried to instill the Volstead Act into illegal alcohol in the 20s and 30s."
...
He also noted that the tax revenues available will actually decline, as vape shops move outside the city limits, and vape sales move with them.
...
Colorado Daily reports that Boulder businesses are already planning how to deal with the new restrictions. "If I am only selling tobacco-flavored products, my business is not going to exist," Boulder Vapor House owner Ginger Tanner said. Maybe she's eyeing retail space in Louisville, which is just a few short minutes away from the University of Colorado-Boulder campus.

The end result is likely to be more crime and fewer resources to deal with it, but the important thing is that the Boulder City Council has successfully signaled its virtue.

buwaya said...

Back in the day, if you were a monarch or a great nobleman, you ensured there would be no crowds (or a crowd that wasn't there to serve you, one way or another) for your nature-therapy by designating it a hunting preserve. Like this one -

Coto Doñana

1,300 square kilometers

In which one would have a little hunting lodge.

Palacio El Acebrón

Bruce Hayden said...

“I don't know about how therapeutic the forest bathing experience is, but virtually all groundwater in the Colorado mountains is contaminated with a very nasty bacteria that will make you sick as hell if you drink it or get it in your GI system. Come to think of it, I suppose days of diarrhea and vomiting is a type of cleansing therapy.”

Giardia, which is not a bacteria, but rather an anaerobic flagellated protozoan parasite. Know one woman who blamed a miscarriage on Giardia. Even in Boy Scouts, over a half century ago, we worried about Giardia when hiking in the CO mountains.

The Minnow Wrangler said...

Bruce Hayden, re Giardia. Thanks for the clarification. We always knew about this and it is not a modern phenomenon, it is spread by beavers and other animals defecating in or near the water. It is easily eliminated by boiling or using a decent water filter. Even the most "pristine" looking mountain streams can be contaminated.

buwaya said...

Huh.

I should have gotten richer. I am still a humble fellow, but it would so, er, spiritually satisfying to own a royal hunting estate.

https://houseswithhistory.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/spanish-king-alfonso-hunting-lodge/

Mark said...

I would think that the "forest therapy guide" career is big in Colorado partly because of the marijuana.

I would think that the "forest therapy guide" career is big in Colorado partly because of the bullshit.

Mark said...

I am sitting in the airport in St. Louis and just saw a woman traveling with an emotional support Rottweiler. Our society may not have hit peak insanity, but I hope we are getting close.

Guess you missed the story about the traveler on American Airlines who brought on-board a horse as a support animal. Then you would know your hopes have already been realized.

tcrosse said...

Althouse did a post on Forest Bathing a couple of years ago. Moins ça change.
Forest Bathing and Health Insurance

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Boulder city counsel is 100% D, and they spend all of their time imagining all the ways to Nanny-State us to death.

Josephbleau said...

Black flies and mosquitos can be controlled with a can of the original Woodsman’s Fly Dope. It’s still available after all these years.

Phidippus said...

mockturtle said: "I've collected quite a few gnats, especially if I'm wearing white. May have swallowed a few, too..."

Back in my cycling days, on a couple of occasions I would ride my bike down to the shore at Cape May (~82 miles) and meet my wife and daughter at one of the saloons there. They'd give me a sporting head start so we'd all get there more or less at the same time.

One year we did that in mid-July, and there were quite a few gnats and midges and so on in some of the wooded sections of the route, with predictable results.

I was surprised at their reaction when I showed up one time completely covered with them, stuck to me with dried perspiration and sunblock.

I had become a human windshield. But the beers at the outside cantina and subsequent shower were exquisite.

Phidippus said...

Regarding the poll, once again, our Hostess manages to not have an option that I would choose. In this case, the question is particularly ill-posed:

First of all, the notion of "having to" do shinrin-yoku is nonsense. This is something that is done of one's own choice, if at all. It is not a penance, therapy, or gnostic initiation ritual.

Secondly, neither drugs nor other people are appropriate. I realize that the article in question assumes that "guides" are needed by some, but this is America and you'll find people trying to monetize everything, including e.g. sex and death. It doesn't make it right, though.

And of course, the woods is not really the point. Assuming one can manage some time alone, this practice can be done at the shore, in the back yard, or anywhere else. It is simply a matter of paying attention, no more and no less.

There is much to be learned from the smell of earth, the sound of moving water, or the reflection of light off of pebbles. Or off very small flies, even. Or the way your body feels when you walk down the street, or ride your bike, or drink a glass of water.

mockturtle said...

Nature is everywhere. EVEN in parts of a city. You don't need a guide. You just use your own ears and eyes and just be quiet. Shut up and enjoy the world.

Exactly so, DBQ!

mockturtle said...

I am still a humble fellow

Somehow, buwaya, that adjective doesn't exactly spring to mind...;-)

JamesB.BKK said...

Heard on the street : "McMindfulness."