7 Years of Accidental Wanderlust: Join me on my next adventure. ~ Kat

Well, hello there! The home team got to third base this year – more times than I could count. I hope you enjoyed the season of fast pitches, home runs, three strikes (followed by “You’re OUT!!”), and good times for fans, in the stands. Accidental Wanderlust engaged in family farm explorations, basement greenhouse experimentation, and some truly entertaining bear spotting.

“Now when you pick a pawpaw
Or a prickly pear
And you prick a raw paw
Well, next time beware
Don’t pick the prickly pear by the paw
When you pick a pear
Try to use the claw
But you don’t need to use the claw
When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw;
Have I given you a clue?”

I’m thrilled that so many readers came along, to see what has transpired. The animals at the zoo were putting on quite the performance: Cotton Candy Clouds against a Cerulean Sky: A Day at the Zoo

The sunsets and sunrises, late night rides, and seasonal performances that nature puts on for us kept me entertained; you too, I hope! Let’s take a look back. The photos have a lot to say, but there is always more to the experience – stories to tell! Let’s consider the tales behind the blogs. . . .

The ‘unruly goats’ are the featured attraction at Harrison Farm, the Hipcamp where I discovered so much to write about, but the chickens do not disappoint! Their quirky personalities are evident, and the chickens are everywhere. We fed them watermelon rinds, heard their cock-a-doodle-dos at all hours, and helped the farm owners in their attempts to control the rat population. #diseaseriddeneggthieves Want to hear more? Check it out!

Camping with Unruly Goats: Hipcamp Delivers All the Fun, as Promised

These days my work travel, which was the impetus for this blog, gives me the opportunity to travel to Washington DC several times a year. While that’s an adventure in itself, I often up the stakes by renting a bike from Capital Bike Share. With a cohort of 20+ future leaders of the American Red Cross participating in the program I run, I could not help but visit national headquarters (NHQ).

A solo night of riding around Washington DC, with a stop at NHQ, was a treat, on a recent visit to the nation’s capital. I wanted to share the photos (and my cycling adventures) with my cohort at the nonprofit. Why not share it on Accidental Wanderlust as well?

Winter hikes have been the subject of many a blog post, over the last 7 years of writing. It’s fun and games with some laughs along the way, most of the time, but occasionally I’m struck by the artistry of nature. The patterns that appear in the ice along the trail are mesmerizing. I could spend a whole day in a very small patch of tall grasses and not be bored – there is just too much to see.

Are we Out of this Deep Freeze? Come Back Soon!

I spend a lot of time in the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, and so they make repeated appearances in my blog. Exploring more of what Columbus has to offer I find myself returning to a small educational farm that I was a volunteer at in the late 1990s, when I was new to Ohio. They welcomed me back then as a tour leader for groups of young schoolchildren and they welcomed the public this spring, to experience the maple tree tapping that results in amazing maple syrup.

There is something refreshing about bearing witness to the education that goes on at Stratford Ecological Center. Living in the city, many Columbus residents need to purposefully expose themselves to making a connection to the earth. Why not start with children, when they are young and impressionable. The event at Stratford was ticketed, for the purpose of controlling the number of visitors and to ensure timed entry, but it was free and open to the public.

I encourage you to consider visiting, volunteering, and exploring!

Stratford Ecological Center

You might learn something. . . and there is no harm in getting some fresh air, muddying your boots, and making a connection with something outside yourself that needs your loving attention and care OR that will thrive in spite of your neglect. Nature is resilient, after all, and has a lot to teach us. Isn’t that why we surround ourselves with it?

This year, living in a new house and in a neighborhood that encourages eating local, growing your own food, and welcoming neighborhood critters, we became a certified Wildlife Sanctuary via The National Wildlife Federation.

I’ve learned a thing or two – the basil (three different kinds) thrived this year, along with the rosemary, sage, mint (in a very large container!), and oregano. The cilantro didn’t do so well, but the season ended with some coriander (the seeds that cilantro plants produce). I look forward to putting this year’s garden to bed, spending the colder months planning on how I can improve things next year, and installing at least one more raised bed.

I’m ready to think outside the box, including pulling some of my “crops” outside of the backyard, where there is so much shade – I just need to protect it from the neighborhood deer. I’ll be sure to share our progress here! Take a peek at our early efforts: Growing into a Homestead: Getting Spring Started Early

I’m not back to pre-pandemic levels of travel, but there were some short trips, including a visit to Chicago at Christmastime that included a treat – a hysterical performance of loveactually??, the parody. I had a hard time putting the experience into words, but I tried: Something to Celebrate, in Chicago: Christmastime, Cloud Gate, and a Comical End to 2021!

Seriously, check out loveactually? if you have an opportunity.

I lost track of the number of baseball games I went to in the 2021 season (perhaps around 35?) or the number of cities I visited to be a sports spectator (perhaps 12 or 14?), but Accidental Wanderlust allowed me to capture the sprit of the season and share it with you, as a retrospective: Epilogue: Last Game of the 2021 Baseball Season

You don’t have to be a fan of the game to enjoy reading about my adventures – you could be a fan of crowd watching, Cracker Jack and soft pretzels, or hot dog races (and other classic baseball-style entertainment). Enjoy!

Wondering what else I’ve written about these past 12 months, or in the last 7 years? (Spoiler Alert: I’m out in nature a lot, ride my bikes (I have 4) more than the average Ohio resident, and love all things related to art.) The Home Page is the best place to explore – I hope that you will.

What about the adventures I’ve yet to write about. . . and the ones I’ve yet to experience? (I’ve already mentioned the Smithsonian American Art Museum – more to come this month!) It’s in my nature, in my blood, and in my personal interest to continue to explore the world around me, embrace adventure, and (according to Maya Angelou) write about it. How else will I avoid the agony described by this amazing American memoirist, popular poet, and civil rights activist?

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.“

Maya Angelou

Join me on my next adventure,

~ Kat

Related Resources and Links:

American Art: SAAM – Smithsonian American Art Museum

Family Fun on the Farm: Stratford Ecological Center

Become a Certified Wildlife Sanctuary: The National Wildlife Federation

Pawpaw: “Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is found throughout all of Ohio and most of the Eastern United States except for New England and much of Florida. It is a native understory or woodland edge tree, often found in moist places such as the bottoms of ravines, steep hillsides and creek banks. One tree often gives rise over the course of decades to a sprawling colony via its root system, which suckers several feet away from the parent tree.”

Ohio Department of Natural Resources

The Bare Necessities:

“Now when you pick a pawpaw
Or a prickly pear
And you prick a raw paw
Well, next time beware
Don’t pick the prickly pear by the paw
When you pick a pear
Try to use the claw
But you don’t need to use the claw
When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw;
Have I given you a clue?”

Bare Necessitates, Disney (Jungle Book)


  1. You know how much I love your blogs and hitchhiking along your adventures!
    Your photography brings it all into discovery and view!
    May you be blessed with many more adventures and journeys to new, shared experiences!!
    You focus on the importance of Nature, men and women’s gifts to our present life and encourage us to become part of the continuing map for others!
    You know how proud I am of your insight and bringing us along! There’s an angel on your shoulder who smiles along your way!
    Photograph, Narrate, and fill your life with Joy!
    BLOG ON!!!


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