I went out hunting for wild mushrooms last night with some friends and while we did find some tasty morels the highlight was coming across an abundance of Fairyslipper wild orchids (Calypso Bulbosa) in the dense shade of the forest floor. I found one last year but it was so dark I couldn't get very good pictures. I have a better flash now and better camera sense so I was able to capture some images that do at least a little justice to these tiny wonders. I'm going to need to get more lighting equipment to really do it right.
There may be scientific physiological reasons why traipsing around in the woods is good for you, but beholding the beauty of these orchids reminds me that being attentive to the delight of nature does more than just set off a chemical reaction in the brain. It helps me find a more secure footing in the world, recognizing the wonder of Creation and my place in it as one who is created. It puts me in the way of Jesus' words in the Sermon on the Mount;
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
Go here from some of my recent reflections on the intersections of faith and nature.