I’ve lived in Vermont for over 30 years now on a wooded 14-acre property, adjacent to another 1000 acres that our neighbors kindly let us use. It’s easy for me to get outside and enjoy this luxury and I know some places in the woods like the back of my hand. Though we have never cut any walking trails, I often follow the same ‘path’ through the rocky terrain, passing familiar branches and rock that tell me I am going the ‘right’ way.

Recently, I shook it up by going left instead of right when I left the house on my meander. It was surprising how different the woods looked to after such a simple change. Normally, I just know where to go here, here, and here to make my way back home. This time, I had to think about where I was and which way would take me back to the house. I was in old familiar territory but it was different.

As we start a new year forced to stay home more than we like because of COVID, it’s easy to feel stuck in a rut and bored with the familiar world around you. Yet only a small change, like walking left instead of right when you head out the door, can change your perspective. So I encourage you to shake it up – take a different path, change the time of day when you take your usual walk, track a small creature in the snow. You might be surprised to see what’s been out there all along, right in your backyard, waiting for you to notice.

Ice hair
My husband and I recently found ‘ice hair’ for the first time ever. Read more about this rare winter phenomenon – http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150727-mystical-hair-ice-riddle-solved