Richard's Ramblings

In Praise Of Slow

For many people, getting out and seeing nature involves a lot of activity. Packing bags, planning routes, choosing perhaps a nature reserve to visit, and then once you arrive spending the day walking around to see what is around.

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this.

However I would like to take a minute “in praise of slow”. You see, many wild creatures can be quite shy and I personally have just as much success seeing nature by just finding somewhere quiet and sitting still. Find somewhere that cyclists, walkers and, worst of all, dog walkers are unlikely to be encountered, take your binoculars and camera and just sit quietly.

If you’re lucky, and stay reasonably still, many creatures will go about their daily lives barely paying any attention whatsoever to you and you can often see far more wildlife in this way.

As an example, when I lived in Hampshire there was a bench in a local wood that I knew of. If I sat down there quietly and just waited I was almost guaranteed to see a roe deer wandering nonchalently past.

Another time last year simply sitting in the countryside enjoying the view, a weasel came out to play not far from me and I got one of my best views ever of the creature.

Just yesterday, two common lizards came out and sunbathed no more than 6 feet away from where I was sitting and I got a perfect view of them, in contrast to flash of a tail one normally sees when walking past (and disturbing) a lizard in the wild.

In other words, when it comes to seeing wildlife, don’t always try to be “active”. Instead, try being still for once – I think you’ll be quite impressed what you see if only you’re patient.

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3 Comments

  1. I’m sure that there is something in this Richard – my best sightings of weasels have certainly happened this way. I don’t really have the patience though!

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