Stop, Look, Listen, Observe

This afternoon we attended a family nature walk, a free naturalist-led event held in the Tilden Nature Area in the Berkeley hills. I couldn’t resist the event description… “Natural beauty, strange creatures and curious plants reveal themselves to those who seek such wonders.” We walked for two hours, slowly ambling along, observing the little things along the way. Here’s a small list of what we experienced:

  • Banana slugs
  • Deer tracks
  • Woodrat nests
  • Rollie pollies
  • Mushrooms on the trunk of a tree
  • The wind blowing through the forest
  • A pair of mallard ducks
  • Miner’s lettuce (yum!)
  • A vernal pool
  • Raccoon tracks

Does such a walk need to be taken with a naturalist? Absolutely not. It can be done anywhere, anytime. Instead of rushing through a hike, simply slow down. Slow down a lot. In fact, stop. Listen. Hear the birds, the wind, the water rushing in a nearby creek? Look. Look up into the trees. Can you spot the bird you hear chirping out there somewhere? Is it in a tree? Out hidden in the grass? Or is it under a bush? Observe the small things. Lie on the ground and stare at a small patch of grass for five minutes. What do you see? Alternatively, enjoy the big, wider view. What do you see in the distance? Or in the sky? Lie on your back and watch the clouds drift by.

Slow down… stop… look… listen… observe…


  1. A Nature Mom says:

    Thanks, Gillian. This hike was even more fun because you and C were there. I love his nature journal (and his enthusiasm for it)!


  2. gillian says:

    we had such a great day & dawn we would love to hang with you guys!
    love your new blog, very inspiring
    Love anthony too!


  3. marina says:

    Love! Thank you!


    1. A Nature Mom says:

      Thank you, Marina!


  4. Zelda says:

    Love Anthony! great post!


    1. A Nature Mom says:

      Thanks, Zelda! Anthony is great with the kids. C adores him.


  5. Dawn Jeannine says:

    I love your blog! I hope to join next time. I just love getting kids out into nature.


    1. A Nature Mom says:

      Thank you, Dawn! Yes, please join us next time!


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