Showing posts from November, 2017

In praise of noticing

For me no two walks are the same. One day I might be tangled up in thinking - the mind spinning around on a carousel of chatter. Thoughts about the future - plans, to do's, worries, or thoughts about the past - memories, regrets, mental traces of bygones. The very next day, I might be taking the very same route but with the fog of thinking having lifted.

To call this mind stuff a 'fog' might seem odd after all we identify so closely with our thoughts - they seem to define who we are. But it gets in the way - our window on the world gets misted up. While we are lost in thought we are not present. Freedom from the needy 'think me!' of thoughts grants us the gift of noticing.

Nature beckons us away from ourselves - with the call of a benign siren. Nature lays out a feast for the senses - all we have to do is notice it.

I notice more and more. I used to be a birder first and foremost so during my patch walks I'd focus on the sky and tops of trees, seeking out some…

A humanscape - a blank slate

I visited this long adandoned tennis court on my patch. You wouldn't think it was the most promising for wildlife - but on close inspection it's full of natural treasures! I think this shows some interesting things When humans abandon a place nature reclaims it.We're living in the Anthropocene - an age when man has fundamentally altered the earth - often to the detriment of everything else - but even a man made habitat like this one can play host to a degree of biodiversity.Simply put there is a lot of nature! - a lot of species, each adapted to its unique way of life. Whatever the specialised habitat there will be something (and often 100's, even 1000's of species) that can live there.and also the more you look the more see. It's a tennis court - there are a lot these cushions of moss that look like tennis balls - what are the chances!! 
The first colonisers - cyanobacteria (Nostoc commune) don't need to root into anything, so just sit on the surface and pho…