Nature waiting

In early September, I took a week's holiday on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey, just off the North Wales coast. It's a place which holds very fond memories for me. I visited Anglesey on family summer holidays pretty much every year of my life from a tiny toddler to my late teens. But this was the first time I had been back there in many years. I am glad and relieved to report that the place has changed very little at all.

I stayed in a caravan on the same farm that my family and I used to visit, with magnificent views over the Irish Sea. Every morning before breakfast, I would walk down to the rocky headland and sit on the same rock I used to fish off all those years ago. Most mornings, I stayed there for at least an hour, gazing out to sea. It is an extremely tranquil place.

It was during these daily sessions sitting on my rock that I rediscovered the delights of what I shall henceforth refer to as nature waiting. Nature waiting involves finding a nice spot, sitting down quietly, and waiting for nature to appear. It's a bit like nature watching, but more passive: you don't go looking for nature; you wait for nature to come to you.

I had some spectacular luck nature waiting on my Anglesey rock. I saw razorbills and gannets by the dozen—both never seen by me at this particular place before. One morning, I was even lucky enough to spot a dolphin rounding the nearby headland, followed a couple of minutes later by two more. Then, a few days later, a curious grey seal spotted me on my rock and decided to come over to investigate:

Grey Seal, Anglesey
A curious grey seal (Halichoerus grypus).

It really was a very special holiday, made even more special by my rediscovery of the art of nature waiting. It is an art I hope to spend considerably more time practising in future.

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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