Connect to Nature Online Class

Camouflage! Hiding in Plain Sight!

08.04.2020

Welcome to another online Creative Writing – Connect to Nature Class.

This week I have been back out on my allotment and was inspired to write about camouflage after finding a Rosemary Leaf Beetle in the rosemary bush. I never knew these little beetles existed until last year when they were pointed out to me at St Nicks. They are the size of a lady bird and really beautiful metallic colours. If you have a rosemary plant check out the foliage – you may just have one hiding in there.

This also reminded me of a hilarious book I bought from the second hand shelf at St Nicks – How to Watch Wildlife by Gordon Burness. Insects and animals seem to be the master of camouflage …human beings not so…the book has many hints and tips on human camouflage techniques – the portable cow ‘bird hide’ is my personal favourite!

So, this week’s class will focus on camouflage and the unexpected things that we find in nature, I hope you enjoy it. There is no pressure to complete the tasks, even if it’s just something fun to think about on your daily walk then that is fine with me.

Task 1: Just for fun….list ten ways to camouflage yourself! Here’s me and my daughter having a go – just to make you smile and a little frog we saw today, who was making a much better job of it!

Task 2: (5 mins) Magic in nature…have you ever stumbled upon something in the natural world that completely surprised you? My friend just discovered fritillary flowers this week. One of my favourite memories is walking through some secluded woodland and disturbing a weasel rolling a pheasant’s egg down a path. Write about something that you discovered or stumbled upon, or something that you would like to see in the natural world.

Task 3: (10 mins) Hiding in plain sight! This task is all about noticing. It wasn’t until I started running the Connect to Nature Class that I began to notice things I had walked past hundreds of times before without a second glance. Spend five minutes observing nature. This could be sitting on a bench in a park, opening your window and looking outside, or spending time in an outdoor space at your home. Be quiet and still, use your senses. What do you notice. Describe your observations, are you drawn to anything that you haven’t noticed before?

Task 4: (5 mins) Transformation! In Gordon Burness’ book he suggests walking like a tiger using stealth and speed to observe the natural world (his instructions also involve adding six pairs of socks over your trainers to ensure you ‘pad’ instead of step!). If you could be another living creature for one day – what would you be and why? (Hint – think about the abilities that your favourite animals / species possess that we don’t have.)

I hope that you have enjoyed the class today. If you haven’t seen a fritillary before – here are some beautiful pictures I took in the local woods today.

Don’t forget to share your writing in the comments, or email me your responses! I love hearing from you.

Look out for your words on Friday’s post!

With best wishes,

Emma

Published by Emma

Hi my name is Emma! I am a writer and artist. I work for the NHS at Converge (www.yorksj.ac.uk/converge) and I am also an MA graduate in Creative writing and am currently studying for a PhD in Humanities. I have been leading a creative writing class at the beautiful St Nicks in York (www.stnicks.org.uk) for the last five years. When I am not at work I'm on my allotment or at Base Camp (my home) planning new adventures.

5 thoughts on “Connect to Nature Online Class

  1. Hi Ems, Wendy will be pleased as she missed the time limited tasks last week and decided to set her own. I’m off to the rose garden in a minute . My little wren greeted me preening itself this morning. Wondering if I should change my outfit to try and be invisible/camouflage. It will be good to have these thoughts with me. Love Eloise

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    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, you’d put timings on the week before and it was noticed you’d omitted them the following week. This week they are back! She used your tasks whilst devising some time restraints as she’d enjoyed them in the first instance.

        Liked by 1 person

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