Nature and the power of place

Over the last year and a half or so I have noticed a shift in the way I think about nature and the natural world. At one point during a zoom workshop about nature-writing, I surprised myself (and the other participants) by starting to cry. It helped me understand that I process all sorts of … Continue reading Nature and the power of place

Encouraging children to engage with nature

Content warning - violence towards animals In previous posts I've mentioned that I believe the worldview of influential adults plays a large part in a child's openness to engage with (or continue engaging with) the natural world. In this post I will outline some of the ways that I attempt to encourage my three-year-old to … Continue reading Encouraging children to engage with nature

My approach to identifying Brazilian birds

When I was growing up in the UK, my dad was my default bird identifier and his general knowledge about natural history, wildlife and birdlife was something else. So I don't remember often searching for information about birds since Dad taught us to recognise most local birds from an early age and those I didn't … Continue reading My approach to identifying Brazilian birds

Engaging with nature – the challenge of finding resources online

In my post On danger in nature, I mentioned some factors that I think affect engagement with the natural world. One of these is the ease of finding sources of information about nature which are both reliable and pitched at the appropriate level. This is very broad but examples might be seeing a butterfly and … Continue reading Engaging with nature – the challenge of finding resources online

Danger in nature – all snakes and no ladders

Spot the snake (answer at the end) "There's danger everywhere!" exclaimed the twelve-year-old, after her little sister told her that scorpions like to nest in dry railway sleepers of the kind they were both standing on in the backyard. The twelve-year-old retreated to the security of the house and her phone, the three-year-old found a … Continue reading Danger in nature – all snakes and no ladders

On danger in nature

I've had a note on my phone for months now called 'Dangerous nature post'. It was a reminder to me to attempt to get some coherent thoughts down about nature, danger and the unknown. In February I read a fascinating article in Inkcap Journal. 'A dark miracle in the Forest of Dean' shows how the … Continue reading On danger in nature

The joys of translanguaging

Yesterday, my little one sat down at the table and said "Mummy, I need a prat". I've been enjoying hearing her stop-gap responses to language she can't remember, but this time I thought it best to offer her the appropriate word."Would you like a plate?""A prate?""A plate""No, I need a prat". She has been problem-solving … Continue reading The joys of translanguaging

Birds, bins and Brazil

My obsession with Brazilian birds has definitely been growing over the last year and a half. My husband actually introduced me to the iconic Sabi√°-laranjeira (Rufous-bellied Thrush) in the few weeks after we first met, but since I was in the UK for most of our relationship, and then living in favelas after we got … Continue reading Birds, bins and Brazil

New language – shape, sound and word association

I bought a book for my daughter around about the time she turned one. It was ¬£1.99 from the British Heart Foundation and called '1000 Words and Pictures'. She can lift and carry it by herself now that she's getting on for four. This week when we were reading about the parts of a tree, … Continue reading New language – shape, sound and word association