3. Where?

By Joanne Gucwa, BioFables

Where will BioFables adventures take you?

Can anywhere in the open air be called anything but the “Great Outdoors”?  From a Door County Island (Book 5) to a relative’s farm (Book 2) and even the Maloney family’s own back yard (multiple books), even the sky seems limitless. And then there’s mystery to be found in water in the form of steam from Old Faceful and its nearby hot springs (Book 1),  a pond that holds more than your average fish (Book 6) , a LONG-gone inland sea (Books 3 and 4), and a practical way of estimating how wide a body like the Mississippi River might be at the Palisades side in Illinois (Book 4).

Books in preparation locales include the Rocky Mountains of Colorado (Book 9) and Yokoyama, Japan (Book 12).

Why outdoors (mostly)?

Seeing with Fresh Eyes

Or even just your mind’s eye as you read BioFables. Yes, travel is broadening, even a mini-trip a few miles away to a place we’ve never visited before. Experiencing different places allows us to see nature with fresh eyes. Maybe the blades of grass under our feet won’t look so different, but at least some of the trees or squirrels or land formations that we encounter will hint at the great diversity of life and the earth that exist beyond our local environs. People, on the other hand, may not look so different from those living and working in our own neighborhoods. However, if we talk to and interact with the “locals” in a place that is new to us, we’ll start sensing the great diversity of the human species. There are multiple instances of “seeing with fresh eyes” in each of the BioFables book.

Stress Reduction

Most of us live in urban/surburban areas. Not only do we wind up indoors a lot, our lives tend to have a fair amount of stress, whether it’s from a playground bully or a co-worker bully. Researchers are beginning to explore how being out in nature can restore mental and physical health. BioFables books offer some ideas on getting out in nature.  Of course, you’d expect National Geographic to advocate for enjoying nature. 🙂

Do you have a park, or even a bit of green space nearby? How about your own back yard? Especially if you have a vegetable garden. Not that seven-year-old Melody and Mallory necessarily appreciate the upfront work that eventually produces the colorful veggies that wind up on their plates.

Increased Activity

Do you sit at a desk much of the day? Many of us do. Except for grocery or discretionary “recreational” shopping, desk wranglers are usually hard-pressed to reach even 2,000 steps in a whole day. Get outdoors and walk a mile (roughly 2,000 steps), relatively briskly (about 4 miles an hour), and — voilà — you’ve accomplished in 15 minutes what you may or may not have achieved all of yesterday!