If you were to look outside your window right now, what is the first wild animal you would see? Whether your backyard is a lush forest, a concrete balcony, or somewhere between, your wildlife sightseeing will vary. However, regardless of your location, there is one animal group that you are likely to see within mere seconds of looking outside – birds. Birds are one of the most diverse and abundant species taxa on Earth. In addition to being leisurely to spot, birds provide our senses with rare instances of natural color and song. Bird-watching is a readily available activity that can bring us closer to nature and provide us with fascinating natural phenomena to witness.Read more
At one point or another, most of us have experienced the annoyance of hearing a distracting sound that impeded our ability to do something. Maybe you live near a railroad track, where trains bustle and shake late at night, hindering your ability to sleep. Maybe you’ve known the stress of trying to concentrate on a task while construction work beeps and whirs outside. In our modern industrialized world, it is not uncommon to encounter distracting noises. Hearing disruptive sounds is related to increased stress, elevated risk for heart disease, and difficulty processing information (Schell, 2003). While we can’t always choose when we hear these nuisance noises, we can choose to reinvigorate our senses and connect with nature by listening to sounds from our natural environment. As you listen to these sounds sampled from nature, observe how they make you feel. If you find the sounds to be relaxing or pleasant, consider exposing yourself to more nature sounds, either by spending time in immersive natural environments or listening to more sampled sounds. Now, I invite you to sit back and enjoy.
Schell, L. M., & Denham, M. (2003). Environmental Pollution in Urban Environments and Human Biology. Annual Review of Anthropology, 32, 111–134. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25064823
Sampled Sounds and Nature Videos Provided by Storyblocks
Having children is a gift in so many ways, and appreciating nature more was one of the bigger surprises I received when I became a parent. Time slows, I become more curious about the world, and I explore and share discoveries with my loved ones. It makes me feel alive when I learn something new about our world, and I feel like a proper father when I can share my fascination with my family. I never knew what a cactus looked like on the inside until just last December. I love the constant “wow” you get if you just pay attention to the world.