Friday, May 16, 2008

Stop, Sit, Wait

One of the most important ways to see more is to just stay put. Instead of hurrying on your way, stand still, or sit down and stay a while. Sit still and do not move or move only slowly and gradually. You will see changes of light as the sun moves just a little. You will notice patterns of sun and shadow. You will see changes in movement as the breeze picks up or slows down, or even when it lets up altogether for moments of total calm. Animals and birds will get used to your presence and reenter the area and resume activity. You will see slow moving insects and snakes and reptiles and amphibians moving against the still background. You will see other people enter the area and move on and their effect on the environment. If you are observing wildlife, it is instinctive to all animals to recognize the facial pattern of 2 eyes and a nose/mouth region, so if you close one eye or cover it with a hand, you might disrupt that pattern to wildlife and keep from startling them for longer. Watch a single flower on a warm day to see the many kinds of bees and ants and beetles that may come for its nectar. Watch the canopy of a tree to see the various birds that visit and watch for insects crawling or flying around among the leaves. Watch a stream to see what floats or swims or flies along. Sometimes we work too hard to find nature, when a bit of quiet time means that nature will come to us, if we are quiet and patient enough to let it.

1 comment:

Chuck Comstock said...

If I didn't know better I'd think you copied this post straight out of "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek". Of course I know you, of all people, would never sink so low, so, congratulation! Annie - watch out. There's a new nature writer on the horizon...