Ideas for Dealing with Coronavirus


Remembering that all CFA members have the same thing in common leads me to put out this note as a way of dealing with the day-to-day humdrum.  With today being the first day where there was no coffee break at the Bun ’n Cone and grocery shopping was a necessity for getting through the next week, things are different.  The stores are basically stripped of essentials, notably toilet paper, for whatever reason the hoards feel it necessary to stock up on huge amounts of the paper.  May be good for the low-grade wood market, who knows. 

What we have in common is that we all own forested land in some amount.  What that forest can become is a haven from the rat race of daily avoidance of other people.  Our forests, no matter how small or large, hold lots of advantages over our regular life experiences.  As adults we can learn more about our forest and its inhabitants by spending time out there and “watching the flowers grow and trees leave out.”  If there are things we like to do in the woods, there is not a better time to get them done.  There is no problem with “social distancing” or breathing another human’s germs.  You can come out of this forced isolation with a greater understanding and appreciation of your woods that you have paid for and maybe not enjoyed as much as you could.  Take advantage of the down time.

If you are one of the families with kids who are now on forced “vacation” from school, there are tons of things you can do in the woods that will make the kids way more aware of their surroundings.  It just so happens that we are in the “rebirth” season where trees are awakening, spring wildflowers are emerging to grab the limited sunlight on the forest floor.  Those flowers are truly beautiful and worthy of study.  They don’t last long as tree’s leaves shade them out and they die back until next year.

Also, birds are returning from their winter spent to our south.  The woods will be noisy with the spring songs of our birds.  All of them are coming to stake claim to a piece of territory to raise their families.  Singing males are staking territory that they will be protecting until the young fledge and become self-sufficient.  Using bird books or the internet or apps designed to help with identification of birds by sight and song is a great way to appreciate nature at its best.  I was one of those who poured over bird books as a youth and today birding is one of my mainstay hobbies.  It brings daily joy and excitement, especially, each day as new species arrives from their winter away.  Much of science activity can be covered by spending your time in the woods.

So, instead of sitting indoors, hit the woods.  Spend some time in nature and learn its virtues firsthand.   Maybe some of you will be doing this for the first time.  Maybe others of you are “old hats” at the woods thing.  No matter where you are in the grand scheme of things, it will not hurt you to take your mind off the Virus by being in a place where it cannot affect you or your family.  Remember, “It’s All Good in the Woods.”  Be safe and make the best of your time in isolation. 

All my best to all of you,


Mike Porter


Catskill Forest Association