Nature Notes – Issue 13

Nature All Around Us

by Jill K. McDonald
Downtown Buchanan, Photo by Jill K. McDonald

As I sit outside my local coffeehouse, I ponder what topic to write about for my next Nature Notes column. So much beauty surrounds us in the great outdoors, if only we take the time to notice and appreciate it. 

Continuing in my pondering, I begin to get absorbed with the nature right in front of me. It stirs inspiration, yet it also begins to beckon an article of its own noteworthiness. The simple and subtle intricacies of these things bring a peaceful calm over me.

Autumn in Downtown Buchanan, Photo by Jill K. McDonald

It’s the ornamental grass gently swaying in the breeze, with its beautiful mix of soft green and light brown that gently remind me it’s autumn. Next to the grass is the soft-textured lamb’s ear plant that just is fun to gently feel.  On the light pole nearby is a decorative scarecrow with cornhusks dancing with the breeze. Under the shop sign is a potted pine, beautiful bright green with the sun shining on it. 

Lamb’s Ear in Downtown Buchanan, Photo by Jill K. McDonald

Then I look up more, across the street is the wide and welcoming alleyway that leads to Pears Mill and the Buchanan Common area, which includes the farmers market area and the amphitheater. The alleyway is a nice brick-lined walk with various plants and flowers growing in raised cement areas. At Pears Mill it’s peaceful watching the water wheel spin and move the creek water. In the spring and summer, the Buchanan Commons area has a social and friendly atmosphere.  

Looking higher yet to the sky, from my coffeehouse table seating, the clouds are fluffy white among brilliant bright blue. Earlier were wispy streaks of clouds above the fluffy ones. And it’s fun to closely watch the clouds and see them drifting with the wind. A turkey vulture was just soaring high above and seemingly enjoying the ride of the air currents. On the street poles, the American flags also blow gently with the wind. 

It’s a beautiful and peaceful autumn day here in the small and wonderful town of Buchanan, Michigan. You really need not go far to find peace and beauty among nature. 

Wherever you find yourself, take even a few moments to truly look around and notice the simple joys of nature. May it bring a sense of peace to your day.  🙂

Jill K. McDonald is a freelance nature & travel educator, writer, photographer, and speaker. She can be reached by email at or connect with her on Facebook at:

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