Contemplation, observation, philosophy and reflection are all you need to connect and be at one with nature and the great outdoors.
Experience has long since taught me, that when you want to observe wildlife in its natural environment; especially in wooded areas, near water, heath and moorland, you must be silent at all times and make no sudden movements. The result being that as you stand or sit in such a way, nature will eventually come to you, and, as the moments pass, it will all at once converge before your very eyes in one highly magical moment. Herons, white egrets, ducks, coots, moorhens, jays, sparrow hawks, buzzards, ravens, deer, foxes, stoats, weasels, I have seen them all, while many more will emerge before you, almost as if they want to share such a moment once they can sense or see that that you mean them no harm. So says Andrew Falconer, head gardener, who goes on to explain that “I have always been an outdoors person, I feel much more comfortable there, ever since being a little boy, I have never been able to get enough of it.” He then goes on to write about a lifetime of enjoying the wonders of nature and the environment up to the present day.
But, at the same time, he simultaneously opens up on the past and invites us into a long-gone era, one that many he certain would dearly love to return to if it were remotely possible. “If only I had a time machine at my disposal” he exclaims while looking back with a sense of deep nostalgia. “I would go straight back to the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s which made up the best part of my youth and childhood and go on to visit some of those dearly loved places that have long since disappeared.
Falconer then describes in some detail about his growing awareness of the natural environment and his early sense of indignation regarding those who seek to neglect and abuse it, while at the same time growing up in a small town on the border of Snowdonia, before later going on to make a detailed account of his moving down south and to Surrey in England during the 1980’s.
Rugged Welsh mountain landscapes, made up of dramatic far reaching panoramic views; the beautiful soft pastoral English countryside and much of its resident wildlife, extensive sightseeing tours shared with his long-term partner Danielle while visiting beautiful Provence, in France, and a childhood spent next to the banks of the Conwy estuary are all fondly described in detail and are finely drawn out and evoked in this highly observant and literal homage to the great outdoors.