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The small things in nature Copyright Stephen Garnett

Slow down! Take pleasure in the small things in nature

Tuesday 23 June, 2020, by Katy Foxford

These times have brought about for many a new found affiliation and affection for nature.

It’s given us the time to reflect and think about what’s important to us. After all, the human relationship with the natural environment is well known – the need and desire to be with nature and to connect with other life, such as plants and animals.

It can be easily explained by considering our evolutionary history and our reliance and dependence on what nature provides for our health and well-being.

Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than taking pleasure in the small things in nature. 

Often, as I walk through the Dales with my friends, I will be heard saying “slow down” or “you’re going too fast”, because there is so much you can miss when walking at a brisk pace.

It might be frustrating for others when trying to get to the tearoom for tea and cake before it closes! But the disappointment your friends have in you when you miss the tea stop by one minute is less painful when they can go home saying they spotted a kingfisher or a beautiful orchid, because we took the time. So there are some advantages to being a dawdler!

Credit: Film on the Brain

We often concentrate on the way ahead, getting to the top or admiring the fantastic views around us, but I’d encourage you to just stop for a moment and examine what is under your feet or in the space immediately around you. Some of nature’s mysteries lie in the minutiae, such as the tiny flowerheads on the heather, an insect or butterfly resting or feeding on a flower, the constant hum of the bees feeding on nectar rich flowers, or perhaps a little beetle scurrying past on the ground…

It was only last week my friend shared a picture with me of a ladybird emerging from its pupa and I thought to myself, I have never seen that before, one of nature’s beautiful moments, hidden, unnoticed by many, but which she managed to capture.

Credit: Heather Lagan

So, as you can see we often walk by and do not see the magic of nature’s everyday life, but if you just stroll a little more slowly, and delve a little deeper, you might just see these little treasures.

Just now, we all have a little more time on our hands. So I say make the most of it; open your eyes to see the small things going on all around you in nature. And I would urge you, have an amble, a momentary meander, linger a little longer to notice the tiny details and you won’t regret it. There’s nothing more wonderful than spotting something special you can share with others.

Please feel free to share with us some of your photos showing the wonders of nature you discovered by slowing down and looking a bit closer.

Picture of Katy Foxford

Katy Foxford

Katy is the Tourism Support Officer with the YDNPA


One Reply to “Slow down! Take pleasure in the small things in nature”

  1. Emma Kerby-Evans says:

    I always think that we should observe the Green Cross Code in the countryside too.

    Stop. Look. And listen.

    There has been so much more birdsong and wildlife recently. It’s been wonderful to listen. I just wish I knew what the birds were!

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