New Hampshire Nature (absolutely click that link!!)
Nature is literally all around you wherever you look. Even in a “city” you can walk to a river that is clean enough to swim in.
There are so many trees everywhere; naturally occurring, wild trees.
Last year was the first year that I didn’t go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I went home for four freezingly miserable days in early January to get my wedding dress- that barely even counts since I stayed inside as much as I could. Anyway, when I went home this summer I was totally blown away by how truly green everything is, and I mean everything. Driving down 93 looking out the window I saw a blur of different shades of green, I couldn’t even see the individual trees because they were all the same color. New Hampshire is filled with beautiful earth tones, brown dirt roads, red front doors, green trees, dark blue waters and bright blue skies. Not even to mention the sunsets, which are so mind-blowingly beautiful. I really missed the natural colors of NH.
Growing up in the Lakes Region (when I was younger I called it the Great Lakes Region…which it is to all who live there) I can name over 15 fresh and clean bodies of water that are within 20 minutes of me (though I can only name the location two Starbucks and one is an hour and half away). Water: the smell, the sound, the feel, the refreshment, everything. Water is the single thing that I miss the most above all other things about New Hampshire. When I was home the only thing that I wanted to do was sit outside on the dock, next to the water and merely exist. Nothing else mattered other than maximizing the amount of time spent outside near water. Diving into the water on a hot day (75-80 degrees) is the best feeling ever. The initial shock and gradual refreshment and everlasting contentment that comes from the life force of the earth. My relationship to water is beyond words.
The yellow star is about where I live, the lakes and rivers named are the big ones; you can see a whole bunch more.
Heat and Humidity
I realized that NOLA has turned me into a biggity-bitch when it comes to temperature. It was in the 70s almost every day and I wore my sweatpants (which I had to go into town to buy because my linen pants weren’t cutting it) every day. I was so cold the entire time, so cold that I’d often bring a blanket down to the dock, since my goal was to maximize my outdoor time. As far as humidity is concerned there is none. I scoff at ladies who complain about the 8% humidity.
Nature, for the most part, is planted and landscaped and maintained by someone. The beautiful live oaks on St. Charles and other streets were placed there to help shade people and keep them cool, engineered nature. This, however, does not magnificence of the trees in New Orleans.
The tree of life is one of the most magical trees ever.
New Orleans is a lot more colorful than New Hampshire, it’s not that our flowers are any more colorful than theirs, it’s that our houses are. Driving down the streets, especially in the Bywater, seeing a bright tri-colored house is to be expected. Houses are painted bright blue, red, green, purple, yellow, pink, orange, you name it there is a house painted it. Not only the house color but the added color of all the beads, especially after Mardi Gras, beads hang from every conceivable place adding splashes of manufactured color everywhere. Another source of color, as I have mentioned, is the street art.
Water in NOLA is very interesting. We are surrounded by it: Mississippi River, Lake Pontchartrain, all the canals, spillways and bayous, and of course there is the rain which frequently floods normally dry parts of the city. However, there is no fresh, clean, easily accessible water to swim in. The Mississippi is toxic, like my baby would have three heads toxic. Pontchartrain is supposedly ok to swim in, but I don’t know where and there a bull sharks…no thank you. Water in NOLA isn’t as recreational and relaxing as it is in NH, here it is more functional and destructive. It is an element that we have to deal with rather than coexist with. This relationship breaks my heart almost as much as being forced to swim at a public pool does (I know I have been spoiled when it comes to water, I fully accept that). Also, don’t forget our frequent water boil advisories and that brain eating amoeba from Chalmette…
The yellow star is about where I live, you can see that we are literally surrounded by water (not marked are the canals).
We do get the occasional beautiful sunset too.
Heat and Humidity
IT’S EVERYWHERE. I learned a few summers ago that my absolute limit for driving with the windows down was 93 degrees, if it reached 94 degrees my windows were up and ac was blasting; that is until my ac broke…I don’t want to talk about it (#firstworldproblems). But seriously, about two years into living here I realized that my hair is naturally curly, this was a quite a shock after living for 18 years as a straight-haired person. I also know that if it is above 46% humidity there is absolutely no point in straightening my hair.
The point? Both places are beautiful, colorful and vibrant in their own different and unique ways.