Time in the wilderness

In any given week the odds are good that I’ll see deer, buzzards, woodpeckers, kestrels, rabbits, countless small birds, and pipistrelle bats, and that I’ll hear owls. I’ll see orchids in season. Foxes, slow worms, ravens, little grebe, butterflies, moths and dragonflies in season, herons, kingfishers, and rodents, are likely, but not as frequent spots. Otters, sparrowhawks, owl sightings, badgers, hedgehogs, snakes, unusual fungi and dorbenton bats are possible, but less common.

You might imagine from this that I live on a nature reserve. I don’t, I live in a town. The wildlife I see, for the greater part lives in the town as well, although the orchids tend to be more on the margins. I know where the green corridors are, and so do all the other wild things.

I know from observation that most of the human population around me is fairly oblivious to the considerable non-human population. We tend to believe that nature is away, other, exotic, somewhere else, that we are not part of it. We may believe that we have conquered nature and kept it at bay, even as the jackdaws on the roof, the rat in the shrubbery and the grasshoppers in the lawn go about their business.

The things we’re oblivious to, we tend not to care about. Rewilding is not, therefore, just about giving more space over to the wild things, but about giving ourselves over to the experience of wild things that are already sharing our environment. They are with us. We are not magically hived off from nature. The only real separation is caused by a curious human inability to see what is right in front of us.

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About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

5 responses to “Time in the wilderness

  • Christopher Blackwell

    Never any shortage of wild life what with my Seed Vulture Cafe feeding area. Go anywhere on my yard, and I see rabbits and hares darting off, ground squirrels and lots of birds of course. Each of the three times that I refill my water dishes there is always a number of bees and ants around getting their share. Occasionally a bee or an ant may need help out of the water, or to get across the water, in the case of an ant. So I do what is necessary.

  • Robin

    that’s a better redefinition of rewilding, it starts with us so we can move out of this ‘nature’ out there thing, I.e nature not experienced but just scenery. When our consciousness realises it is part of the whole universe of animal consciousnesses then we shall be reanimated!

  • lornasmithers

    ‘Rewilding is not, therefore, just about giving more space over to the wild things, but about giving ourselves over to the experience of wild things that are already sharing our environment… The only real separation is caused by a curious human inability to see what is right in front of us.’

    Love this 🙂 Kingfishers continue to elude me and I’ve never seen a slowworm although apparently they’ve been seen on local farmland. One of my most unexpected encounters was a young stoat running across a path at a local nature reserve who stopped dead when he/she saw me. I think we both completely surprised each other.

    I’ve never seen so many herons on the Ribble as I have this year. Sometimes 3 or 4 along a 4 mile stretch. Whether they’ve been breeding madly or I’m noticing them more I’m not certain!

    • Nimue Brown

      There’s a trick to kingfisher spotting – they only look blue in direct light, so they aren’t as self announcing as they could be, but they fly along the margins of water, perhaps a foot from the bank, low over the surface, at incredible speed, in an almost uncannily straight line and if you can spot the movement, and keep an eye on it, the flash of colour may follow and confirm…

      Slow worms like warm stone of a summer’s day, but are shy and good at hiding, and blend in well. Always a bit pot-luck for me.

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