I just learned that I am officially a nemophilist. I discovered the word via a video posted by a friend who knew it perfectly fit me. A nemophilist is one who is fond of forests or forest scenery, a haunter of the woods. I grew up in a major Southern city devoid of forests but recall, at an early age, taking an aptitude test that indicated I would be happiest as a forest ranger.
My summers were spent in rural Georgia. My aunt and uncle treated my cousin and me to a vacation each year—one week in Daytona Beach, Florida, and one week in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the Smoky Mountains. Even as a teenager, I thought the Smoky Mountains forests and streams were paradise and vowed one day to live somewhere in the mountains.
Residing in a small town near the Blue Ridge Parkway, I am a regular visitor on the numerous forest hiking paths where my love of nature photography coincides with my love of nature.
Nature often presents me with magical moments. I am often literally stopped in my tracks when my heart connects with what I refer to as my source so my camera is always close by.
Ironically, our home is in a small development called The Woods. So when people ask where I live, I tell them that I live in The Woods. As I’m writing this blog, I’m looking out at our woods that surround us, grateful for making a choice over 30 years ago to fulfill a dream of living in the mountains so near the forests. And joyful to call myself a nemophilist.