Valuing Nature Conference

I went to this Valuing Nature Conference in Edinburgh in October, and hung out with some lovely and interesting science folk. I was never good enough at maths to keep up with science, so I felt a bit of an imposter, but I loved talking to lots of friendly scientists and experts who inhabit a world of questioning, measuring, quantifying and contextualising the natural world. I learned lots and failed to understand lots more during the densely packed programme of presentations. Here's a random selection of things that stuck with me, mainly selected on the basis that if I thought it important enough to take a photo of a powerpoint slide and remembered somethin

A Cold Wind

I am here again. The tree is always here. Today it is bare on the side that catches the wind, half undressed, between worlds. Going over old ground Retreading familiar steps Coming back Comfort in the familiar A tiny wren in the holly Exerting it’s whole body, chink-chink, chick-chink. It’s mate replies. I’m here. Into the wood, inhale damp earth, fallen leaves, it's warmer in here. Back out into the light a blast of fresh autumn air crisps my nostrils.


The woods are motionless. A distant jet plane. An unseen chuck chuck chuck of a blackbird in the leaf litter. A gunshot tears through the air, two more ricocheting off Meltham hill. One blackbird alarm call then the woods remain silent. My body is forced into stillness but my mind Is a swirling fair ride of noise and lights. Maybe I am driving the woods into silence, holding it’s breath, waiting for me to let the calm in. I’m on the waltzer - job, money, house, job, emails, parents, children, job, money, job, Christmas, house. I need to move, to walk this off. #woods #stillness #trees

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Other Ways to Walk, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, UK  |  |  +44 784 6895 118  |  © 2017 by Rachel Howfield Massey.