DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

outdoors

Jun 28 2017

Wonder and Delight

by Dea Anne M

npsWhen I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time, I said “Wow! It really is grand!” Instantly, I realized that I must have been about the quadtrillionth person to make that very statement and then I thought “Well, so what?” It seems to me that one of many reactions to such phenomena as the Grand Canyon and other natural wonders might be a sense of awe and the resulting quieting of the mind’s editor who is always looking for a more clever twist of words. Thus, we are reduced to spouting what seem like platitudes on the surface yet are, in reality, genuine expressions of wonder and delight.

July 4th is, of course, observed nationally as a holiday. Many of us have the day off of work. Some of us gather with friends or family, plan to see fireworks and go to barbecues. But did you know that the month of July is designated as Parks and Recreation Month? The National Recreation and Park Association is encouraging everyone to get out and visit not only our wonderful national parks but also our state parks and historic sites and even our community parks and recreation areas. Not to sound sappy, and don’t get me wrong – I have never considered myself an “outdoorsy” sort of person, but there’s just something about being out in nature that makes me happy. Of course I’d be even happier if nature came with no mosquitoes and stayed a breezy seventy-five degrees at all times but, seeing as it doesn’t, I will certainly be grateful for it as it is.national

Are you contemplating an excursion to a national, state or local park? DCPL has resources that can help you plan. First off, even an armchair traveler will appreciate the National Geographic ideaSociety’s gorgeous book National Geographic the national parks: an illustrated history. The text is informative without being intrusive and the stunning photography is what you’ve come to expect from National Geographic. Along similar lines is The National Parks: America’s best idea by Dayton Duncan. A companion volume to the PBS series by Ken Burns, this beautiful volume illustrates the splendour of our national spaces and how really radical an idea it was to designate and preserve these glorious spaces and how crucial it is to protect them for generations to come.

Maybe you’d like to explore parks closer to home. If so, don’t forget about the Georgia state parks and historic sites pass available at DCPL. The pass provides access to and information for gorgeous places in our state like Amicalola Falls State Park and Cloudland Canyon State Park as well fun places to stay like Fort Yargo State Park which has a beach for swimming and yurts to stay in. I really want to stay in a yurt. I can just imagine the conversation with co-workers:

“How was your weekend?”

“I went camping! I stayed in a yurt!”

Actually, I think I just really like saying the word yurt. I guess staying in one constitutes “glamping” which is a word I don’t like saying but hey, hikesglamping just may be my kind of camping especially since I have this weird thing about sleeping close to the ground.

Finally, maybe you only have time for a day trip. If so, consider the virtues of Hiking Atlanta’s Hidden Forests Intown and Out by Jonah McDonald and Randy Golden’s 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles (Atlanta edition). Either (or both!) will give you plenty of ideas for how to spend some a few hours taking in the great outdoors and still get home for a shower and some quality time with a book (or…okay…the screen).

What’s your favorite outdoor pursuit? Have you traveled to any national or state parks that were especially spectacular?

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Mar 30 2012

Spring is Here!!

by Amanda L

The official beginning of spring started a few weeks ago and spring break is next week. What better way to celebrate but to spend some time in the great outdoors. I have written before about a variety of outdoor places  to visit and  fishing opportunities around the state. A new opportunity for day excursions and fishing is the new Georgia Go Fish Pass. This pass will allow up to six people free admittance to the Go Fish Education Center in Perry, Georgia. You may be required to show identification. The pass can be checked out from your local branch or reserved if all of the passes are in use. The pass is checked out for one week. NOTE: The center is only open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Looking for hiking opportunities around Atlanta? Of course there are the state parks around the state. Don’t forget that  you may reserve a Georgia Park pass just like you would any other material. You may check it out for seven days. The Georgia Department of Natural Resource’s website lists all of the participating parks and historic sites. Georgia Parks that are located on National Forest land are not included in this park pass.

Closer to home in DeKalb County, the Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve is another opportunity which is free. The local ranger provides interpretive hikes for free for individuals.  For more information, check out their calendar of events.

And when you’re not out in nature, why not come to some of the Library’s spring break programs? We have games, crafts, movies and more for the whole family.

The Library offers several hiking books for the Atlanta area:

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Oct 14 2011

Fall into the Woods

by Amanda L

All my life I have loved being outside in the Fall. Watching nature make her last spectacular color push until she falls asleep for the winter is one of my favorite pastimes. When I head into the woods each Fall, I often  have my camera and a variety of books within reach to consult.  If you sit quietly for an hour or more, you never know what animal, bird or insect you might see that you have never seen before.

Over the years, I have seen deer, coyotes, pileated woodpeckers, armadillos, skunks and a screech owl to name a few. Last year, my most memorable moment was when I thought a herd of deer were coming towards me as I sat in the woods. To my shock and surprise, I found two rambunctious armadillos chasing each other through the leaves.  If I’m unsure of the animal, insect or even a tree, I always consult a guide book. The Library has a variety of these guidebooks to help you identify what you have seen. There are also books on nature photography.

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