Outdoor Diary: Making the Most of Spring Sunlight

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How are you embracing spring? In Alaska it means marking the Vernal Equinox and finding ways to lean into those bright spring sunshine hours. Hear in this Outdoor Diary how Amy is doing that, plus details on how to submit your crazy wildlife story and appear on an upcoming Humans Outside episode.

Some of the good stuff:

[:30] The significance of Spring Equinox

[1:52] Finding your passion outside

[2:28] Pandemic reflections

[2:50] How Amy got outside this week

[3:32] You could be on the Humans Outside Podcast!

Connect with this episode:

Register for our newsletter to win a decal: https://humansoutside.com/newsletter

Follow us on Instagram and share your outdoor life with the hashtag #humansoutside365.

Here’s an edited transcript of this installment of Amy’s Outdoor Diary. Listen to the episode on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

Do you know when the Spring equinox is? And why would anyone care?

Maybe file this under “more Alaska stuff, again,” but like we’ve talked about before during a late December Outdoor Diary, one of the things we really care about here in Alaska is the coming and going of daylight. I guess that’s what happens when its exit and return are so very dramatic. We’re gaining over 5 minutes of daylight every day right now, until things finally peak in late June, and we slowly – but not slowly enough – lose it again.

Vernal equinox, or spring equinox, is the day when you have equal or almost equal amounts of day and night. That was about 12 hours daylight and darkness for us on March 20. And boy was Alaska singing a beautiful song in celebration. It was a day of gorgeous, clear blue skis, and although it started out pretty darn windy at my house, the wind died down and all was crisp – in the 20s – and clear for my first outdoor running or mountain or real event with other humans since 2019.

Wow, was it a perfect day for it. I was feeling great, trusted all the hard work I’ve been doing and leaned into the encouragement you all have given me over the last 7 months to do something hard for 2 hours, hauling myself up and down the not so correctly named Lazy Mountain.

I won’t make you listen to me blabber on about running, but I will say this: I find incredible personal value, joy, reward and challenge in doing these really hard things outside, and I hope that you can find an outdoor activity or passion that gives you the kind of feeling running in the mountains gives me. Find your passion, friends, and then find ways to do it as often as possible. Hunting, birding, gardening, cycling, forest bathing, yoga, skiing, snowman building, hot tub using, or whatever — I hope you search until you find it and then make it a part of your life.

Like many people, I am reminded right now of pandemic times last year and all of the ways we adapted and yes, of the things and people we lost, as we dealt with it. I’m an optimist, so focusing on the gifts is just part of who I am, and those are at the front of my mind as I record this today. It was because we were spending so much time at home, for example, that I thought to dig out the fire pit last year long before the snow melted. And this weekend, in that wonderful bright sunshine, I did the same thing again.

I had to dig out about a foot down into the snow, and it was really just guesswork as to where it was even located underneath it all. But I found it pretty easily, dug it out, and this weekend enjoyed one of my favorite family activities: family fire time. We layered up and hung out together for 45 minutes, catching up on the weekend’s happenings, eating dinner and watching the kids use the play structure in the snow. The sun was bright and the company grand. Sometimes it really is the simple things in life, like spending that fabulous time with the people you love doing something that brings you peace and joy.

I’m working right now on getting the rest of the full length episodes of Season 3 of Humans Outside finished, and I need your help. I want to put together an episode where I interview some of you to hear your craziest wildlife encounter stories. Would you help me by submitting yours? If I choose your story, we’ll do a quick interview so you can tell it to me yourself! That’ll get you in an episode of the podcast and your crazy story out into the world. You can find a link to the submission form in the show notes, or you can go to humansoutside.com/links and find the form link there.

Spring is a glorious time to get outside, and I hope you are finding your 20 minutes daily to make it happen. You can see how I’m spending my spring, of course, by visiting humansoutside on Facebook or Instagram, and share your time with me by tagging #humansoutside365. Until next time, I’ll see you out there.

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