I have a pile of books and out of that pile I am beginning with Diary of a young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty and Why the Moon Travels by Oein DeBhairduin

And with in arms reach are the classic text by Robin Wall Kimmerer Braiding Sweetgrass and The Lost Spells a poetry and picture book by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris

Why The Moon Travels

This little book is full of big fables, the voice is distinct and intimate, at the beginning of each fable there is a preamble that links in with the author’s lived life, we catch glimpses of his mother’s garden, the significance of feast days, and the intertwining of place and ritual. “Why Dandelions Grow” is a heart rendering story of a girl who seeks to heal the earth, and we find out about how the dandelion’s changing form embodies the influence of the celestial bodies from her quest… the sun in flower, the moon in seed head, and the star in leaf pattern. Each story speaks about intimate connections with the environment, a generous and powerful voice for Traveller Culture. I am savouring every moment of this book.

Braiding Sweetgrass

I keep dipping into the wisdom of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s epic Braiding Sweetgrass…. here are her guidelines for the honorable harvest:

Know the ways of the ones who take care of you, so that you may take care of them.

Introduce yourself. Be accountable as the one who is asking for life.

Ask permission before taking. Abide by the answer.

Never take the first. Never take the last.

Take only what you need.

Take only that which is given.

Never take more than half. Leave some for others.

Harvest in a way that minimizes harm.

Use it respectfully.

Never waste what you have taken.


Give thanks for what you have been given.

Give a gift, in reciprocity for what you have taken.

Sustain the ones who sustain you and the earth will last forever.

It’s only polite – addressing plants by name introducing asking permission and waiting for the answer with the intuitive as well as the intellectual brain.

Robin Wall Kimmerer talks about the Serviceberry and the Gift Economy here: https://emergencemagazine.org/story/the-serviceberry/

and about the Vegetable Mind here : https://soundcloud.com/bioneers/natures-intelligencehttps://soundcloud.com/bioneers/natures-intelligence

more on naming intimacy and respect, from Gathering Moss:

A good number of the rocks around here have names, and people use them for reference points around the lake: Chair Rock, Gull Rock, Burnt Rock, Elephant Rock, Sliding Rock. Each name calls up a story, and connects us to the past and present of this place every time we say it. My daughters, being raised in a place where they simply assume that all rocks have names, christen their own: Bread Rock, Cheese Rock, Whale Rock, Reading Rock, Diving Rock….

Intimacy gives us a different way of seeing, when visual acuity is not enough.

Gathering Moss
A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses
Robin Wall Kimmerer

Diary of a young Naturalist

Dara McNulty writes powerfully about his connection with nature …: “These days, it feels like things are changing. I’m here on the cusp of my fourteenth year, and the blackbird, that conductor of my day, is just as important as when I was three….” I’m tempted to open this book at the back, in November, as that is when I have picked it up, but I find that there is an unfolding narrative that I need to journey with from the beginning.

Here is Dara’s website:


The Lost Spells

A beauty to pick up over a cup of tea, palm-sized like a prayer book, each page a feast of word and image, bringing the reader into the magical outdoor spaces that are wrapped between the covers.

Here is the fabulous Cosmo Sheldrake version of “Beech” from the Spell book

lovely to see the process

Courting the Wild Twin

I have just got post – I open Courting the Wild Twin by Martin Shaw

I am in love with this book from page 1

I have just been given this book by Tim Cramer a beautiful venture into the Glen of the 1930s – 1950s when he was a lad growing up in a house in Sunview East, the laneway I use to access the Glen

here is page 38 an idyllic soundscape describing some of the birds long gone from the Glen

another classic sadly out of print

Here are some pages documenting the flowers in the Glen

this is so good just beginning

Not a text exactly but an artist and approach that interests me in my work Narratives Nature here’s a video about the practice of Jakub Kudsk Steensen

I found this via the British Museum