My jaw hit the floor when I saw my friends pictures of Lake Braies (#lagodibraies) in South Tyrol, Italy. The mountains are majestic. The lake is pristine, and the cabins, docks, and rustic boats make for stunning photographs.
After enjoying his family pictures, I wondered if every person that lives on the lake wakes up every morning and is awestruck by the beauty that envelops them daily. My assumption is no, we all fall into the same trap of taking the beauty around us for granted. Sometimes it takes an out-of-towner to ask about the beauty of our local area and remind us that tourists will come from all over the world to see sites we drive by every day without a thought.
I live in Montgomery County Maryland, and we have trees, lots of trees. Growing up in the Southwest, I was accustomed to seeing the horizon far off in the distance. The abundance of trees brings the horizon to either side of the road unless you are on an overpass or a hill. We enjoy the luxury of all four seasons and get enough snow to shut down the Federal Government a couple of times each winter.
Maryland doesn't have any natural lakes, only man-made reservoirs. Yep, it's true, go look it up, I'll wait. The soil is predominantly clay. The forests have a healthy mix of oak, maple, dogwood, birch, and cedar that explode in a wide array of colors each fall season. We have fireflies.
The Potomac River provides a natural border between Maryland and Virginia. The river provides an excellent place for fishing and boating; and supports a robust kayak community. Great Falls National Park lives up to its name and is a great spot for bouldering. The C&O Canal and towpath, border the Potomac and provide an easy path for running and biking. During my commute in the spring, wisteria blooms along the canal and demands I roll down the window to breathe in the fragrance.
Consider where you live, what nature is nearby, and what is unique about your area. Why do outdoor enthusiasts come to visit? What surprising nature fact have you learned about your current home? What are the stark differences in other places you have lived? What is one thing you appreciate about your local environment?
Give the community a chance to enjoy your local beauty and answer a question in the comments.