Let your senses become your nature guide

Many people enjoy being outdoors and experiencing nature. But to be honest, we are doing lots of other things when outdoors than just experiencing nature. For example, spending time with friends and family, talking on mobile phones, listening to music, exercizing, solving troubling work or private issues, trying to remember species’ names or identifying birds. Nature then becomes just background that we pay very little attention to.

Next time you are out there, let your senses guide you to new nature experiences. Give one sense at a time attention:

  • What sounds do you register close and far away, are they soft or sharp, frequent or rare?
  • How does nature feel, what about that tree trunk near by? How does the ground feel under your feet?
  • How does your nose experience nature? This time of year the shifts in temperature and the decomposition of leaves and grasses create palettes of scents.
  • The eyes are our most used sense and also the easiest to explore. One way to challenge your eyesight is to look for details, for example shades of green in a single tree.
  • There are plenty of edible berries, plants and mushrooms to be enjoyed, or why not focus truly on the taste of your picnic food during the break of your nature explorations.

This sensually-guided nature experience was inspired by Hans Landeström in his work on nature-guided therapy.

Enjoy the beauty, taste and smell of Pine needles. image courtesy Sara Borgström

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Green is the color of nature

Monday, November 16th, 2009 | Green Wonders | No Comments

Often nature is regarded as synonymous with green. The green color comes from the molecule called chlorophyll. This molecule is essential for photosynthesis – a process whereby carbon dioxide and water become oxygen and carbohydrates with the help of the sun. Each breath we take is dependent on this oxygen producing process in leaves, needles, herbs and grasses.
Falling temperature and fewer hours of daylight tell the trees that winter is coming. It is time to withdraw the chlorophyll from the leaves and store it for spring’s fresh foliage. When the green is gone the yellow background color of the leaves appears. The red color on the other hand is produced by the tree exclusively during the autumn and there is no clear understanding of why. Maybe the purpose is to scare damaging insects away. The brown leaves that fall to the ground seems to be dead but contain necessary nutrients for springtime greenery.

Oak leaves

Oak leaves

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