"The researches of so many eminent scientific men have thrown so much darkness upon the subject that if they continue their researches we shall soon know nothing."

- Artemus Ward

“If you aren’t confused about health and nutrition, then you haven’t studied it long enough or deeply enough.”

- Matt Stone

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunny Spring

Yesterday was the first official day of spring, and what a glorious day it was. The old adage says that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. It certainly was lionlike earlier in the month, but yesterday was as lamblike as one could wish for, sunny and warm. The crocuses in my yard are blooming and the daffodils are beginning to bud, and dead winter sticks are starting to showing swelling of new buds also.

Yes I know, we've had blizzards in April before, so no relying on March's lamblike nature yet, but it was a weekend so I had to take advantage while I could. For me this ended up meaning taking a ride out to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

There was an absolute cacophony of frogs. The noise just boomed throughout the entire swamp no matter where you went, surrounding you from all sides. When you glimpsed some of the small frogs in the water it was hard to believe they had such amazing lung power.

Even snakes had come out of winter hibernation and were sunning themselves on the tussocks and banks of the swamps.

Butterflies had hatched as well, and were flitting here and there. Naturally plenty of birds also, and in all I covered at least two miles of boardwalks and walking trails, and spotted ten species of birds including a new Life Bird for me, the American Widgeon.

So what does this have to do with a food blog? I guess when I think of the healing art of food I mean not only food - but all aspects of nutrition. Lately there has been a lot of press about Vitamin D and its healing properties, and now many of us are deficient in it. I currently take 7500 IU of D3 in gelcap form daily, but of course the classic way to absorb vitamin D is through sunlight.

And yesterday was certainly the day for soaking up the sun's rays. It was actually starting to feel uncomfortably warm. Many people at the Swamp were in shorts and I almost found myself wishing I was too, and I was glad of the brim of my Tilley hat protecting my eyes. I did have short sleeves though, and was able to feel the sun on my arms. I was in the swamp right around high noon, so about the high point of the sun for the day.

I've read, though, that humans have a dramatic drop in the ability to convert sunlight to Vitamin D after the age of 40. Hmmm, if it truly does have such protective properties I suppose that is one of Mother Nature's ways of getting rid of the older generation. If true I'm not going to stop with my supplements. But on a day like yesterday I'll try to get out and enjoy the sun more often.

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