Connect to Nature Creative Writing Class

08.07.2020

New Discoveries

Welcome back to another week of Connect to Nature Creative Writing.

This week I thought it might be nice to focus on some new discoveries that I have been making, and to use those as inspiration for our creative writing tasks. So, I’m going to get started straight away, I’m excited to share these things with you.

Task 1 (5 mins): The Cinnabar Moth. When I was gardening at my allotment I found a Ragwort plant covered in caterpillars (see above). On further investigation (thank you St Nick’s buddies!) I discovered that they are the caterpillars of the Cinnabar Moth, this led me to learn that Cinnabar Moths were named after the Cinnabar Stone. The Cinnabar Stone is a gem stone with a fascinating history and was used to make mercury. The moth was named after it due to it’s vibrant red colouring.

Your task is to connect the following precious stones to plants (e.g Ruby poppies, The Emerald Oak etc). Try to think about your favourite plants and see if you can match them to the something of that colour:

  • Emerald (deep green)
  • Ruby (deep red)
  • Lapis lazuli (sea or navy blue)
  • Amethyst (purple)
  • Citron (yellow)
  • Opal (glittering rainbow colours)
  • Diamond (glowing crystal white)
  • Turquoise

Task 2: The Linden Tree: (5 mins) This is one of my favourite times of the year when Lime Blossom Trees are in flower (they are also know as Linden Blossom..another new discovery I made!). I found out this week that you can eat the young leaves of the Linden Tree and also make a tea from the flowers. You can read about the tree and the mythology of the tree here. Apparently it also has many health benefits!

Inspired by this information I want you to write about one of the following items, imagining that you had only just discovered it for the first time:

  • Strawberries
  • Honey
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Fresh pea pods

Task 3: (10 mins) Meadows! Another discovery that I made this week was a small meadow off a cycle track I use and a field full of flowers on Fulford Ings in York. I have cycled past the entrance to the meadow many times but never ventured through the opening to discover what lay beyond the hedge! I found a beautiful network of paths through wild orchids and flowers. It was teeming with butterflies. I couldn’t believe that I had never explored there before.

Your task is to choose one of the following:

a) If you can go and explore a footpath that has intrigued you, that you haven’t ventured down before. Spend ten minutes on return writing about what you found. Remember to look at the small details. Sometimes a really simple hedgerow can be teeming with life.

b) Or…pick one thing in wildlife that has intrigued you, or that you are drawn to. Do a google search on the subject, or look it up in your books. Write about what you find out, does anything surprise you, is there any mythology connected to the subject, what do you discover?

Task 4: New Discoveries! Write a wish list of discoveries and adventures that you would like to make in the future, for example spotting something that you have never seen in person before, or visiting a special garden. Use your list as inspiration for a longer term plan to do as many of the things on your list as you can!

I hope that you enjoyed today’s class. I would love to hear about your discoveries, or any writing that you have to share with me.

With best wishes,
Emma

(I also found that whilst lovely riding a vintage bike, that it’s much harder to get off a bike designed for men if you aren’t used to riding one! This picture was taken just before I fell off trying to climb off it 🙂

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.

2 thoughts on “Connect to Nature Creative Writing Class

  1. I always like to notice colour so this would be a good challenge for me to come back to. When I am out walking I feel like I get a colour and pattern fix a bit like scrolling through my favourite fashion brand or artist online but more satisfying. It’s nice to recognise this because it’s almost like I need my LFTA (lettersfromtheallotment) Specs on to sharpen my focus!

    Like

  2. I always like to notice colour so this would be a good challenge for me to come back to. When I am out walking I feel like I get a colour and pattern fix a bit like scrolling through my favourite fashion brand or artist online but more satisfying. It’s nice to recognise this because it’s almost like I need my LFTA (lettersfromtheallotment) Specs on to sharpen my focus!

    Liked by 1 person

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