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Brimstone butterfly on a dandelion flower


Sean's Blog


What Does Naturing Mean?


18th April 2024

Spring is such a wonderful season. Full of promise and opportunity as the sun warms, days lengthen and plants bloom. It’s inspiring for humans, animals, plants, and fungi in equal measure.

I consider myself fortunate to have lived a life immersed in nature and surrounded by wildlife. It’s been my childhood interest, adult hobby, and now my paid work. I still have the drudgery of commuting, paperwork, and taxes, but I’m fulfilled by the subject of my activity.

Kestrel flying past

In a world driven by computers, personal devices and now AI, huge numbers of people have been totally disconnected from nature. I find this sad, and doctors agree with me. Apparently, a walk in nature improves mental health, reduces depression and improves memory and sleep. I couldn’t agree more.

Let’s take a sneak peek out in the spring garden. The smell, the sounds, the colour, and the feel of soil on your hands and sun on your back. Birds are singing in the trees, while bumblebees thrum as they forage low to the ground. Frogs are croaking in the pond and large rafts of jelly spawn ripple on the surface. Newts, flash vivid orange bellies as they rise to gulp air, while a blackbird thrashes its wings bathing, throwing jewels of silver drops reflecting sunshine in the air.

Pair of frogs in pond with spawn

Vibrant yellow daffodils are dancing on a gentle breeze, as a determined brimstone butterfly (as colourful as the flowers) tries to land and feed on their nectar. You can almost hear the crackle as dormant buds burst, their yellowy-lime leaflets breaking free to reach for the warming sun.

The garden borders which have lain barren for months, see the earth move and tumble as perennial flowers, long hidden underground, push up and outward to welcome the new season. Ants, centipedes, ladybirds, and countless other insects begin exploring the surroundings looking for opportunities.

All this going on around us, so often unobserved unless you care, or take the time to notice. You don’t even need to go outdoors. Look through a window, even from a car and wonder at the kestrel hovering over a roadside verge or enjoy the blue tits visiting your feeder in the front garden.

Wild daffodils on woodland edge

Recently, I was talking to an office working friend who was feeling low having been made redundant. Despite being a dog owner, he was unaware of the nature around him. We went for a walk together and I pointed out this and that, and we both became engrossed. We came home happy, with wet knees and dirty fingernails where we’d been poking about. He said he’d not done such a thing since he was a child!

I said we’d been ‘naturing’ together and he had no idea what I meant. Naturing is how I describe these moments, simply listening to the wind, feeding the birds, planting a flower, or as we did poking around the woods. Naturing is the active verb of engrossing at least one sense in nature. Try it, it feels good.

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