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Today's walkitcornwall quote

  "'Growth' and 'progress' are among the key words in our national vocabulary. But modern man now carries Strontium 90 in his bones ... DDT in his fat, asbestos in his lungs. A little more of this 'progress' and 'growth,' and this man will be dead." — Morris K. "Mo" Udall

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The scenery, flowers and birds, coupled with your wealth of knowledge, really made for a super few days. It was so nice spending time taking it all in, without the need to rush to the next destination. The dynamics of the friendly group merely added to the enjoyment. The week went all too quickly so, who knows, I may return for more! Do thank Ceri for the lovely sandwiches and the chickens for the eggs!

- Maureen N, UK.

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My personal philosophy of walking

Look up from your screen!

snow drop and primrose

Look up!! Look up from your phone. Nature is talking to you and communicating with itself. It has taken 4.6 billion years to present you with todays show, so at least pay attention and look around as you walk.

Nature will reveal its qualities, its secrets and its divinity if you let it. But first engage and acknowledge. Don't ignore or disregard it, let alone disrespect it which is what you are doing with your downward pointing face glowing in the screens reflection. Let nature wash over you, surprise, entertain, flow and teach you its simplicity.

Simplicity? But surely the science of nature, or more accurately the multidisciplinary study of Earth Science cannot be broken down to a simple attainable understanding?

Yes it can and that happens without study or a need for explanation. The complete understanding of the simple beauty of nature can happen as a full on Wow moment or as a light bulb moment and there is a marked difference between the two pathways.

Here is a recent example of both. In my "job" as a walking guide I go to the same places quite often. I see landscape in all the extremes of weather which in Cornwall can be four seasons in one day. There will be wild weather, brooding mists, clarity of visibility and colour, the serenity and knowledge of ancient woodland, the noise and force of heavy rain and waves on the coast path and the lightness and fecundity of a Spring meadow. The Wow moment might be in any of these conditions at a place of recognition, of where I have been many times. It is a multi sensory overload of the moment where your body screams Yes! Not only your brain but an instant illogical but profoundly overarching and almost out of body experience of what your senses are taking in. That is nature giving you a glimpse of its "work in progress" of 4.6 billion years. Yes geomorphology, botany, metereology, human geography and many more 'ologies are playing their part but let's simplify it to Nature - with a big N. So that's the Wow moment but what of the lightbulb moment?

Check the photo above. Snow drops and primroses. Together. Now primroses are more spring April-ish flowers and snowdrops are winter so maybe together that's nothing more than an interesting cohabitation. But recently I've been moved by A Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben which explains the communication underground of inter tree species through chemicals and the pulses of the matrix or the internet network of fungus and roots. Well these two plants together were the only time I saw this over a 200 metre stretch. Everywhere else the flowers ghettoised themselves, apart from each other. Lightbulb moment! They're communicating, saying I'm here, can you go elsewhere a few inches. That's what it seemed to me as metre after metre and clump after clump they were all, All, separate and I had taken a photo of the only place they were together. Beautiful.

Nature is communicating with you all the time. Look up! Let it in!