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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Learning from nature

Beautiful bluebells

Ever seen a Common Shrew go caravanning? Any idea what flowers to plant to attract bats (yep, flowers and bats)?

Neither did I until I started researching this month’s edition of Go Be Wild! The website’s blog is updated almost daily, but the other sections are published on the first of every month. Writing and researching the nature articles is fascinating, and I learn so much during the process.

Then there is the artistic side: creating the layout, choosing the colours for headlines, the styles for the box outs, different fonts, etc. It’s completely absorbing, and is such a different skill to writing.

Often the best part, though, is selecting the right photographs for illustration. They are my own, and therefore each one represents not just the obvious, but also me overcoming a challenge. Nature-watching teaches me patience, and when things get hectic and I’m rushing around like a headless chicken, looking at my photographs reminds me of those lessons. Each one brings back memories of how easy or hard it was to get the shot, how long I had to wait for just the right light, how much my legs were cramping from crouching down for so long – and sometimes how frustrated I was when I almost got the perfect shot, but missed it by half a second.

That is the biggest lesson wildlife can teach me: that if something is worth having it is worth waiting for. Oh, and that shrews really do go caravanning. (Don’t believe me? Check out this month’s edition of Go Be Wild!)


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