With so many outdoor buffs at Hammock, it’s easy to catch spring fever around here. Now that the sun is shining and the weather is warm, we’re all fighting the temptation to spend every waking minute outside (I write as I gaze wistfully out my office window). As soon as it’s quitting time, many of us head straight for the trails, lake, garden, etc.; in fact, some of us are even taking up new outdoor hobbies. So, what can you find us doing?

Natalie Willis has a long list of outdoor activities she loves, including gardening, landscaping, hiking, ATV riding and boating. But this spring if you can’t find her working in her yard or skiing down Old Hickory Lake, you’ll find her in the sandbox. That’s right! Her daughters recently got a new sandbox—and Natalie has rediscovered the joys of playing in the sand.

Springtime is the best weather for hiking and camping because the days are warm and gorgeous but the nights are still cool and crisp, says Megan Morris, who last year embarked on a mission of hitting as many Tennessee state parks as possible. This spring, she and her husband, Ian, hope to finish off their list. Here’s a snapshot from one of their trips last year to the Cumberland Mountain State Park and another of a past trip to Reelfoot Lake in Tiptonville, Tenn.
For Bill Hudgins, stepping outside on his 20 acres means figuring out which list to tackle first! With a bunch of horses and two donkeys, there is always a list, Bill says. Lately, his favorite thing to do outdoors is to go to the stables and pat on his animals, or sit on the porch in the mornings with his cat and watch the sun come up.
Spring means backpacking season for Jamie Roberts. “It’s a wonderful time to hike on some of Tennessee’s gorgeous trails—the flowers are just starting to bloom, the trees are budding and the streams are flowing,” she says. “Plus, it’s not sticky hot yet like in summer.” If she can “time a weekend without pounding rain or free from the last claws of winter,” hitting the trails is Jamie’s favorite place to be.

Summer Huggins first fell in love with water-skiing in junior high and, recently, she decided to pick up her skis once more. “My knees are 20 years older now,” she says, “but I still like to give it a try.” She can’t resist the call of the lake once the wildflowers start blooming in Central Texas. Now, if she could only order more rain in the forecast, so the lake is ready for her!

Give Megan Pacella a camera and stick her outdoors—and that’s her idea of the perfect way to spend a sunny, spring afternoon.

Whether she’s hiking, picnicking, swimming or camping, she loves to combine photography with any outdoor activity. She developed her interest a few years ago while trying to capture all of the natural beauty she witnessed between Spokane, Wash., and Nashville during a road trip. Since then, she’s taken more trips in search of great scenery, and this year, is planning a jaunt through the Northeast to explore and photograph the coast of Maine. Here’s a picture she took of the beach on the Oregon Coast and another from the Niagara River in New York.
When the weather gets warm, you’ll find Barbara Logan in her vegetable and herb garden. This year, she plans to grow tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs. Gardening “gives you something to look forward to each day,” says Barbara, who checks her plot every morning and evening and is always amazed by “how much it can change in a few hours.” An avid cook, she loves being able to run outside and grab an herb or ingredient from her backyard. Her advice for novice gardeners? “Don’t be intimidated,” Barbara says. “You can start small.” If you don’t have a yard, you can plant herbs and vegetables in pots; or if you live near a community garden, ask for a small plot of your own in exchange for helping maintain it.
Before her 7-year-old, Luke, was born, Lynne Boyer used to be a serious mountain biker. Now her cool, titanium Fat Chance sits in the garage. But since purchasing a bike for riding around town, Lynne has been finding her cycling legs again—and she loves being back in the saddle. Her friends have even talked her into doing a group ride to Chattanooga in May. “My goal is to whip myself back into shape, so I can enjoy the May excursion and make biking part of my life again,” Lynne says. “I didn’t realize how much I missed it!”
Whew! Now I think I’ll go dust off the bicycle I got for Christmas and go for a ride. Riding isn’t as easy as I remember it being as a kid … but I’ve got to keep up with my co-workers!