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    Outdoor News: Your Immune System and Demi Lovato Are Hungry for Vitamin D, and We’ve Got Solutions

    We love to talk about the cyclical biochemical chaos that turns your bummed-out winter brain into a swoony spring one. But this week, spring fever feels like a simple symptom of watching the weather get nicer even as we’re trapped inside by the need to stay in range of that good wifi (at least until we can snag this top-rated booster.)

    Sure, we can stick some cut flowers in trendy vases (watch out for the lilies, they’re pollen bombs), become houseplant vigilantes, whisper sweet nothings to deskside succulents (cheaper than therapy), and hang plant pics (so pretty and we can’t kill them!) but nothing beats real UV vitamin D. Studies suggest that it even fights The Rona. “Our view was that this treatment is so safe and the crisis is so enormous that we don’t have time to debate,” an expert endocrinologist said.

    Tell your boss, then, it’s your civic duty to take your 12th walk of the day. Wifi beams round the clock, but the sun’s signal is only good until 6:31 p.m. (Did you know there are three kinds of twilights? Astronomical, nautical, and civil.) Even though we’re exploring how to spurn sun’s sovereignty with airborne particles that can cool the planet, Demi Lovato couldn’t have sung it better in her hot new track, Sunset:

    “We’re just two tangled souls / Made of roses and thorns / Cuttin’ through concrete, mm / We’re just ships in the night / Chasin’ after the light.”

    Demi’s not the only one on the chase. In Iowa, a chainsaw artist is seeking illumination in derecho-damaged trees if you’re an Iowa chainsaw artist. And somewhere in Michigan a secretive group of undercover botanists are gathering in an undisclosed location to dig up a bottle of 141-year-old seeds as part of mystery/experment that will run to the end of the century.

    Yeah, the great green yonder can be pretty distracting for us biophiles. It’s not our fault that this giant asteroid slammed into Earth, replacing giant lizards with lushness including flowers and legumes…and now brokali (not a typo, but a new cruciferous hybrid). Who would’ve thought that billions of years later, hikers would be wiping with thimbleberry leaves (they’re giant and fuzzy, according to the author of “The Book of Difficult Fruit”), growing so much food that upcycling it would become a trend, and dancing under The Disco Tree could help us glitter over our gloom?

    If the funky chicken feels too dated, do a whoop like these mating cranes, or a tour en l’air like twisting tree ballerinas. Ok, no need to go cray, especially if you are already coping with eco-anxiety. Try a tea meditation to connect you to earth, or enter your zip code to unwind on a guided walk using the Forest Bathing Finder.

    And with another week, there’s another chance to see what’s new above ground (consult the bloom calendar), or what new plants have been invented. Between that, hauling your ass outside, and everything else in this eco-epistile, there should be plenty to delight your vitamin D receptors. If not, reach for a multivitamin!

    Warm Regar-Ds,

    Aerate

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    A Japanese Garden Master Goes to Prison—and Everyone Feels Better

    “They have plenty of boulders,” Hoichi Kurisu says with a laugh. The award-winning garden master is talking about a project he’s designing on a dry part of Moloka’i, Hawaii, that’s surrounded by big rocks and aggressive plants.