Okay, I admit it, like many of you I take great solace and delight in being out in nature. When our state parks temporarily closed a couple of weeks ago, it was rough on me, as we’d been dashing over regularly to trek the nature trails at Oscar Scherer State Park as a break from walking in circles around our neighborhood. And when Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the Ringling Museum grounds closed (two of my go-to places for beautiful scenery), I went into a mini-downward spiral.
Being outdoors in nature isn’t only pleasurable, it’s good for your health. According to the nature research journal, Science Reports, being out in nature leads to lower probabilities of a whole range of chronic diseases, from diabetes to “mental distress”—if you engage in nature for two hours a week.
Luckily the good folks at Selby Gardens and the Ringling are now bringing the great outdoors to us via regular video tours. On Selby Gardens’ FaceBook and Instagram feeds, I’ve learned about the butterflies and other pollinators that inhabit the garden, found out what a toothbrush orchid looks like, and marveled at a close-up photo of a passion flower. For families, there’s even a scavenger hunt you can do in your own back yard. New content is posted daily at 2 p.m.
Every Friday on the Ringling Museum FaceBook page, you can join Kai Sacco, horticulturist of the Mable Ringling Rose Garden, for various virtual tours. The other day, Kai talked about some of the more than 100 trees that dot the the Ringling’s bayfront grounds, like the rainbow eucalyptus and the Hong Kong orchid tree.
We're grateful for this virtual trip into the great outdoors until we can, one day soon, get out there in person.