I have been writing travel articles about noticing the small things recently and so when I came across this quote from Dr Seuss it hit the right note. As much as I love the mountains and the big wide skies and far-reaching views that walking in the mountains and fells provide, I do get as much enjoyment from those harder to see things and you are just as likely to find me searching the ground when I am walking, as well as admiring the view.
My eye sight has never been very good and I have worn specs all my life [apart from a few years as a teenager when I was too vain to wear them and missed a lot]. Consequently, bird watching isn’t a hobby I am very good at on my own; however, my hearing is still almost perfect. Fortunately, Mr BOTRA has eagle eyes [but poor hearing] and so together we make a great bird watching team as we have the senses required to spot birds and animals [learning to recognise more bird calls beyond the easy ones is on my list of skills to learn when paid work ends].
Fortunately flowers don’t move as much as birds and animals and so I get a lot of pleasure from finding beautiful flowers wherever we travel. I try to identify them, photograph them and occasionally very badly sketch them. The process of identification forces me to stop and really look at the detail of the plant I am interested in; the colour and number of petals, the shape of the leaves and check for any fragrance or hairs.
I have looked at apps for identification of plants but find these wanting and continue to use a book to identify plants, although I am still looking for a good wild flower key for southern Europe. I find sketches and diagrams easier to use for identification than photographs. Any recommendations would be welcome!