Honing observation skills with walking

Honing observation skills with walking

Early morning light through trees

Surely one of the greatest joys of walking is its ability to hone our observation skills.

I’ve loved being outside all my life, and for the last 17 years that passion has played it’s part in my efforts contributing to the team, here at Foot Trails.

Over the years I’ve noticed that the more time I spend outdoors, the sharper my observation skills develop. The easier it is to notice (and appreciate) light, (different tones, how it falls, the way it may shaft through leaves or bounce off things.)

Wild bluebells…

Colour. The joy of different variations, myriads of shades of green for example in the grass, trees and countryside. Have you ever really looked at a bluebell bell? It contains so many different shades, it’s stunning.

Most of all I find an increase in my observation skills helps me to spot wildlife and this is so much fun. Perhaps the quick flash of blue which tells me a Kingfisher is flying down the river or the movement in the sky which shows me a buzzard is soaring ahead.

It’s not just sight, but sound that develops too.

We are all born with these skills, but like any life skills, it’s good to practice and of course they need nurture and time to develop.

Alison in autumn woodland

I find that being able to observe the natural world so closely, leaves me with a sense of deep appreciation. And knowledge, that really, asides shelter, warmth, food etc we can be happy with such simple things.

Next time you are out on a walk, take time to look around you. Write, photograph, observe.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on observation and how spending time outdoors helps. Do you have any tips to share? What is your experience? Please post your comments and thoughts below.

Warm wishes, Alison

2 Comments
  • Lorraine
    Posted at 18:39h, 19 November Reply

    We love walking in the South of England and have enjoyed coastal and country walks as a young family for a number of years now. It indeed makes our summer and we have found as a family that the experience has been much enhanced by taking the winter time to study Countryside guides and handbooks, exploring the species, flora and fauna we come across in the warmer months. As an adult it has made rural walking a very vivid experience with so much to observe and connect!

    Thank you for sharing

    • alison
      Posted at 09:13h, 28 November Reply

      It’s been great to hear of your love of walking in the South of England. Thank you for sharing your winter tips. Great idea. We also provide nature guides in our Walk & Explore Boxes as an invitation to our guests to discover more, should they wish, about the English countryside. I hope you all have a great winter. If you would like to stay in touch, and you don’t already, you might like to consider joining our Foot Trails e-news. Best Wishes, Alison Howell and Team Foot Trails

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