Entries tagged "senses"
The perfect antidote to the cabin fever that comes from being cooped up writing about the Arctic, it turns out, is to go for a walk to investigate the wildflowers. Which reminds me, would you like know what the perfect antidote for seasickness is?
To stand under a tree.
There are many good websites that will tell you about the preferences of garden flowers, their love of direct sun or tolerance of full shade (the RHS website is one of them), but predictably few resources for the preferences of wildflowers. Which leaves it to natural…
One of the most rewarding things about natural navigation is that it shuns any attempt by the seasons to quieten things down. There are many interests in the natural world that are closely shepherded by the seasons; foraging, birds and wild flowers will have their peaks and troughs, but some things are immune. Geology will reveal many of its fascinating faces regardless of whether it is February or August.
But natural navigation is a little different to all of the above, because it keeps its interest throughout the year, without too many troughs, and unlike geology it does…
Day in, day out, paths experience a different life to that of their verges.
Very often there is undergrowth on each side of a path, sheltering one side of them from the sun's drying rays, but their exposure to and shelter from wind also sets them apart. This can be seen most clearly when snow or frost is thawing. The path will either thaw first, or, as in this picture which I took about ten days ago, they hold onto their snow for longer.
As I mention in the book, this is something that can be…
One of the natural navigation techniques that ocean sailors have used for centuries is noticing that the incidence of flotsam and jetsam increases, on average, as you get closer to land.
A similar principle can be used on land to find towns or villages. The number of roads, paths, power lines and communication cables increases as you get nearer a town; of course light and noise pollution also increase. There are some more 'lateral' clues too.
On the weekend I was walking with friends in the South Downs. My friend had the map and so I…
This photo, taken just before six this morning, sums up my senses' delight at being woken by our kids who decided to hold a animated conference about dinosaurs at half past five. A slightly blurred Venus can just be seen between equally blurred leaves and clouds. If you do happen to be up even earlier, and the clouds allow, then Venus is currently an impressive pre-dawn beacon in the east.
I ran a private course in the South Downs on Saturday for a group of four friends. One of them gave me a great example of using our senses and a little lateral thought to better connect with nature. Rachel lives southwest of Medway power station and said that she could tell when it was going to snow in winter because these were the only times she could smell the power station itself. The colder northeasterly winds bringing snowy weather and local smells with them.
Just came across this incredible video. I don't think it's new, but well worth watching if you're interested in just what our senses are capable of. Inspiring.
This morning brought with it a nice thick radiation fog, which the sun will probably burn off soon. There is not forecast to be much wind today, but even a breeze deals with radiation fog, usually anything over 12 knots.No visible sun, no discernible wind, these are the conditions that remind us that the trees reflect their environment over a long period. They act as a giant USB stick of data about thousands of days of sun and wind. All we need to do is tune our senses and look for it. The thin branch in the bottom left of…
Stumbled across a bit of a gem this evening. Marion Owen, 'master gardener', describing the moment she decided to become a gardener at the end of a long passage from Guam to Seattle.If navigation is about where we are and where we are going, then the senses have a bigger part to play than many realise, and not just physically. Marion's passage about a passage beautifully illustrates that honing our senses can get us to our destination in more ways than one. She found land and a new career.Here are some excerpts:'Wall-to-wall ocean, especially in the warm…