By Lee Manto, EnviroCentre Volunteer.
As somebody who loves and appreciates nature, I often find myself staring off distracted from my everyday life wishing that I was off on a hike or out kayaking. Now more than ever, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, I have been missing a part of my life that I thought I couldn’t get in the city. Little did I know, there is nature all around us.
The first time I went out in search of wildlife I was really feeling the effects of isolation, I had been at home for over two weeks self isolating, due to the fact that I had been travelling abroad whilst the pandemic was really taking off back in the middle of March. Now that I can once again go outside, I decided I wanted to try to document what I saw. My father gifted me a camera and I set out to see what I could find.
As a result of my curiosity, I found many beautiful and diverse landscapes such as Hampton Park, the Rideau Canal and my favourite of all Bate Island.
I would go to these places and instantly feel relaxed and satisfied, as I photographed and connected with various animals. The more time I spent in nature, the more I began to notice the correlation that it had with my mental health and well being. On days when I felt anxious or overwhelmed I would take my bike and escape to these places where everything feels calm and natural. I believe that connection exists within all of us and that we just have to allow ourselves to find it.
What I’ve learned? Take time out of your day to explore the city and find nature in your own community. Whether it’s the sound of birds in the trees or catching a glimpse of a rabbit running through a field. Nature is all around us, all you have to do is look and listen!