I have always 'noticed nature'... well for as long as I can remember! From buds beginning to open, frosted leaves to lovely light, I seem tuned into looking for elements of the natural world that please me. I am always looking for it. May be it is a state of mind or a lifetime of love for the natural world, I am not sure.
These last two weeks have made me even more aware of this Every morning, when I leave my home early for either a run or a walk around my local patch, I have been noticing nature even more than usual. That hour is especially precious, so I try to soak in as much as I can. The routes that I take are ones which I have used for at least the last decade to walk my dogs. Old Brynny , who I sadly lost almost 2 years ago at the grand age of 16, knew these walks as well as Wren now does. When you walk the same routes regularly, you become tuned into it and its natural changes.
I have been sharing images that I have taken on my phone, on Twitter and Instagram, and I have been amazed at how well they have been received, particularly in the last few weeks. Sometimes, it is simply a beautiful sunrise. Other times, a plant I have noticed or a natural form that has caught my eye. Sometimes it is dew on fresh grass or frosted leaves. It may be a pattern, texture or even the most simple thing that catches my eye.
This affinity with, and this connectivity with nature, has been proven to be excellent for our mental health. I have always known this and felt it. Many, I know, have never felt it and that amazes me as it is such an integral part of my being.
This current situation has driven people to truly appreciate the time they spend outside and I think many have started noticing nature in a way they simply had never done before. It could be the wonderful sound of birdsong. It could be the smell of a fresh morning after rain or it may be the sight of the sun rising or setting over the Spring landscape. I hope this affinity and appreciation with the natural world is something they will retain when our lives return to 'normal'.
A very interesting study has been carried out my Miles Richardson, into 'Nature Connectedness'. Miles states; 'The University of Derby is leading the development of ground-breaking evidence that explains what nature connectedness is, how it can be measured, its benefits for human and environmental wellbeing – and, importantly, how it can be improved.
Science shows we need to go beyond simply enabling people’s access to nature, and enable people to build a connection with nature. It is our connection with nature that supports human and environmental health and wellbeing.'
If you are interested, then this research is well worth a read. Click on the image below to visit the page and download the PDF.
I will continue to post images of the things I notice in the mornings. Yes, I love to see that others appreciate my images on Twitter and Instagram
More importantly, I do it for me.
I do it because noticing these things in nature is what makes me tick.... and what makes me feel good.