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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Start with A, B, C, and find peace in nature


Above / Join a buddy for a stroll of the Riverwalk. Look up in the treetops for the letter “A” and begin a fun and relaxing way to spend an autumn afternoon trying to find all the letters of the alphabet.

Find letters of the alphabet high in the treetops along the Riverwalk. For starters, see if you see letters E, U, V, Y, C and L. Any others? (Photo Oct. 8, 2017)

For as long as we can remember, whenever we’ve explored local parks to experience the changing season, we’ve often paused to observe the magnificent structure of the wide variety of trees that erupt into spectacular bursts of red, orange and gold this time of year. Then almost as quickly as their leaves begin littering the walks in brown heaps that can be slippery when wet or crunchy underfoot, most trees stand naked to display strength and structural beauty that welcome attention throughout the natural landscape.

Certainly the Naperville Riverwalk has an abundance of mature trees such as the attractive poplar or cottonwood pictured here, located at the base of Rotary Hill behind Moser Tower. This tall common variety along the Riverwalk is distinguished by ash gray, very thick and rough bark, with long, deep ridges. Also note its long, thick branches. Already its golden triangular-shaped and toothed single leaves are falling.

If only trees could talk about all the changes they’ve witnessed over the last several hundred years along the DuPage River.

At any rate —though at a pace less lively than usual — during those slow walks with camera in hand, we often look for letters of the alphabet as they appear in the treetops and in nature.

Several years ago, we began with “A” for an autumn adventure. And before we knew it, we’d found many other letters as well as peace in our search from the Riverwalk to May Watts Park to Knoch Knolls.

Let there be peace…

This arrangement of limbs high in a tree at Knoch Knolls became the “P” in peace.
Since 2012, members of Naperville’s independent business community have hosted their Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes Campaign, featuring a Grinch hunt during the holiday season.

PN’s graphic designer, Tim Penick, turned the images into colorful letters that have graced the pages of our publication more than a couple times.

We started with the letters for “P E A C E,” a theme for the holiday season.

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.  —Henry David Thoreau

If you’re unable to find the letter “S” in the treetops for the word you’re looking to spell, you can always use a great blue heron, commonly found along the shoreline of local neighborhood ponds as well as the DuPage River.

And if you need an “O,” look on the ground for an Osage orange or a black walnut.

Think about it. Walking outdoors among nature is an inexpensive, low risk and accessible form of exercise that’s known to be good to relieve stress. It’s good for the youngsters in your life, too. Many studies tout that a host of physical, mood and health benefits accompany walking outdoors, whether fast-paced or slow.

SO… get moving if you can. Take someone with you. Take your imagination. And take a walk!

PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.