Home » Archives by category » Columns » Notes from Nature

Tree Talk

Tree Talk

“Do you mind me asking what you’re doing?” I say to Susanne Elend, as she whacks the trunk of a 30 metre high tree with a rubber mallet, over and over. “Not at all,” she replies, without a pause. “I get asked that a lot.” It’s not surprising. For the past half-hour, I’ve watched Susanne […]

Notes from Nature: Up, Up and (Not Far) Away

Notes from Nature: Up, Up and (Not Far) Away

Until a few minutes ago, the roar of motorcyclists snaking around the hairpin bends of local roads had echoed about the valley, but after an hour or so of steady hiking, we’ve finally left the traffic noise behind. “When you stop and listen, the silence is incredible,” I say. “It’s loud.” “All I can hear […]

Notes From Nature: Magnificent Marillen

Veronika Unger brings a small glass dish to the table on her terrace before striking a match and lighting the cheap coffee grounds that it contains. As we sit and admire some of her 30 hectares of pine forest and gently undulating meadow, smoke wafts about us and the still August air is filled by […]

Out of Context

I’m standing quite still in a grassy, tree-cloistered alley. Just yards away, something is emitting a thin, grating shriek, over and over. So haunting is the call, my young son grabs at my legs and wants to return the way we’ve just come. And this despite the fact that we’ve just, quite literally, come eye-to-eye […]

Rites of Spring and Rough Edges

People have different methods of marking the changing of the seasons. British nature writer Richard Mabey says he has two specific ‘seasonal rites of passage’ to which he is sentimentally attached: seeing the first swifts of the year over the parish church from his study window, and walking in a particular corner of his own […]

Bombs, Bullets, and Butterflies

Rainham Marshes is not a typical nature reserve. Every few minutes a train hurtles by on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, giant electricity pylons hiss and cackle, and fork lift trucks on nearby industrial compounds beep and shunt. I am in the U.K. this month, and though this flat, wide marshland offers the chance to […]

Mad March

It’s minus five or six degrees. My hands are numb and writing in my notebook is difficult. So what Dr. Teresa Valencak is explaining seems even more remarkable. “Though they live and even sleep above ground, they’re not particularly bothered by the cold,” she says. As she tells me this, one of the creatures in […]

Notes from Nature: Life or Death

After a brief respite of a few spring-like days, winter is back. But living in the city, perhaps we don’t always feel the full force of the seasons. For many people, snowfall in Vienna means little more than pulling on stout boots and de-icing cars in the morning – minor inconveniences at most. Within hours, […]

New Perspectives

My son’s first mountain summit! It’s no such thing in reality, but a couple of hundred metres is a heady height for a three year-old. The tens of pinwheel seeds of the sycamore tree that spin around when tossed to the air that we happen across on the way up help keep us amused, as […]

Page 1 of 3123

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » appearance » Widgets » and move a widget into Advertise Widget Zone