The Point Key

Deer displaying the Point Key

The Point Key

From ‘The Point’ chapter in the book, Wild Signs and Star Paths,

“If we see two or more animals perfectly aligned, standing still with their heads aligned, this is ‘the point’ key, and it tells us something of interest lies in that direction.

It was one of the many techniques poachers and gamekeepers of old used to sense each other, even when well hidden.  From an evolutionary perspective, the point has a dual function. It allows an animal to monitor anything of concern, but the body language also signals to a potential predator that it has been spotted.

Predators rely on an element of surprise for most hunts, so any animal that makes clear they have spotted the hunter reduces the chance of an attack. A meal that is aware and ready to run for its life is not as attractive as waiting for one that is less cognisant, which is why this strategy is so widely used by mammals and birds.”

Wild Signs and Star Paths: 52 Keys that will open your eyes, ears and mind to the world around you.

An update:


I am enjoying your newest book [Wild Signs and Star Paths / The Nature Instinct], it’s full of great insight and very entertaining. I find myself quoting some of the portions to friends. I had just read about “The Point” key, which involved some cows.

Later that day as I was driving down Ocean Drive where we have several public parks by the bay, I spotted an “urban” version of “The Point”. I saw two police cars aligned next to each and facing in the same direction and I knew something was amiss in that park as I was driving by. It suddenly dawned on me that I was witnessing “ the point “ and it made me smile as I thought, I would have never made that connection without your book! I am amazed at all the things that I now “see and read” around me since I have read all your books.

I was bird watching the other day in a marshy bay and I was looking at the ripples of waves as they approached a small sandbar. I suddenly realized that I was looking at a miniature model of waves undergoing refraction and bending into a “cove“ as you described in “
How to Read Water“. I think it’s Snell’s Law also. I never in a million years have recognized or made that connection without your book! I will try to include a picture of that “cove” and see if it transmits. I know it’s nothing but I want to share it; as you very aptly stated in your newest book; the third criteria is “ you have to care” about what you see!


Dan Acosta

Thanks for reading my books, Dan, and for your interesting email.