Wildlife observation: "The best form of meditation that I can imagine"

Posted by: Newswalle

A fox cub in the evening light. Picture: Calum Dickson / Alamy

I spent most of my twenties working in the city, with little time for wildlife. I would not embrace nature as equivalent to Melody Radio Two think, but when I was in my thirties, I felt increasingly alienated from nature, and eager to return to him. So I decided to revive my childhood passion again: discovered butterfly.

Most of us have to discard some emotional baggage when we go wildlife watching. For me the problem was that badge geekery, binoculars. Put on the glasses, but shrugging symbolized by the youthful self-confidence, which was the first step to enjoy in nature.

I a target (I'm not obsessed with ticking things off, but I helped in the beginning, an approach to time in nature, spend something that took me out of the door – hear the nightingales, after a barn owl, watching badgers or recording of bumblebees. deepest joys took over) to find all 59 species of British butterfly, and to define these hunting where and when I left. It has forced me to seek nothing for areas that he knew, and so my first revelation I met.

Bavaria, Germany: a dragonfly dew morning. Photo: Frank Krahmer / Zefa / Corbis

The focus on a small area of ??nature helps us to make connections and interpret the interesting behavior, as soon acquired some experience. Some people love birds of prey, others are obsessed with orchids or a limited group of insects. Butterflies are ideal for any beginner because there are only 59 species in Britain; others swear Dragonflies (57) or bumblebees (24).

Initially my identification skills were rusty (confused moths butterflies and I have been trying to identify a common 'col' white) and my mission was a bit embarrassing. Soon, however, the pleasures of lingering in sunny meadows rudimentary corners of London and the conventionally beautiful nature reserves exceeded the still bother the passers-by what he did to explain.

The Large Cabbage White butterfly or in flight. Photo: Alamy

I met some lovely fellow obsessive but most of my joy was a solitary communion with the field. In late summer, in which I 59, it was very satisfying, but it was not really the point: my knowledge and sense of wild places in the UK expanded dramatically – Butterflies have all kinds of symbolic and literal doors open nature.

To explore in the field of badgers night surveillance and correctly the first time: After my mission I set myself sunny butterfly contrast task. On one of my first unsuccessful hunt badger, I realized that my struggle with darkness has long been awaken dormant senses. Suddenly I had a strange feeling that he was being watched, she turned around and saw a tawny owl, looked like one of those stone ornaments little corners visited a garden center. My conscience felt like an echo from a time when the awareness of predator and prey was only a recovery.

A badger foraging out for dinner. Photo: Alamy

Watch No hard-to-get-to-know common mammalian badgers and even a cobblestone regularly for a little summer gives you a thorough knowledge of the habits of a clan of badgers; Observers who invest a lot of time in a cobbled often "accepted" by the notoriously shy species and even scent marking badgers boots someone coming to recognize, if not as a friend, then at least as part of the furniture nights.

Our lack of knowledge about nature sometimes means that wild places are intimidating. As the recording is running, or swimming, however, it is amazing how quickly you improve with relatively little effort. Even without registration (although I recommend some excursions into nature with local conservation groups or experts for the first time as the fastest introduction, self-knowledge is always harder won), we together bits of lost memories or instinctive understanding of the piece can nature and begin to understand what unfolds before us to make.

A close up of a Tiger Moth Ruby. Photo: Sue Bowden / Alamy

There are so many joys to be picked and wildlife watching one of the greatest is when we feel that we blended into the landscape and become part of the day, night, or ecosystem. Our search for the small details of nature – a moth or a kind of birdsong – are by nature, and are as comfortable scammers senses that give us life to the possibilities of a landscape: the muntjac standing quietly behind us, the crunch of autumn leaves, the tennis honey fungus.

They give us an excuse to waste on a landscape to stop time, and to be just. They are a way to a much broader experience. On my nights off, I realized it was not really watching the roof at all, I was watching the sunset, listening to the creatures of the day when she replaced by creatures of the night with his whispers and screams and inscrutable signals I did not understand, but I could still try.

A man walking along a path with trees on the South Downs near Chichester in West Sussex, in southern England lined. Photo: Alamy

Maybe not for everyone, but the feeling of relaxation in the countryside between sunset and dusk is the best form of meditation, I can imagine. It is a kind of peaceful euphoria. Maybe people are provided exclusively in the city would be immune to such delights. But I do not think it long remain so. We just have to make time for nature, you have the ability to develop, close to nature, before our eyes, ears and noses and we pay, many times, our modest investment.

We need to feel that we belong to human society, and sometimes the observation of nature can give us the feeling that we eccentrics on the fringes of conventional life. But at some basic level, we need we feel belong to the natural world. Its so penetrating in nature in the proximity or distance of Nature in us, it is wonderfully liberating. We see ourselves as we really are, a little critter, a part of the much larger and more forces around us. It is a recognition of something that in the past people could God have called. Not my name (although I no grudge against the people who do that), but I love this company more things that we do., Only a small part of being I feel much better around about me and more love in the world around me.

Morning: The psychologist Oliver James in wild ecotherpy and programs.

Patrick Barkham is a natural history writer for the Guardian and author of Butterfly Isles -. A summer in search of Our Emperors and Admirals and Badgerlands by Granta in October 3, 2013 published patrick_barkham Follow him on Twitter @.

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