Seven captivating moments in nature to experience this winter

Seven captivating moments in nature to experience this winter


When was the last time you searched for shooting stars in the night skies, or listened for the robin’s serenade while putting out the bins? It’s these small but significant moments in the wild that have the power to move us; rewarding us in ways that our modern world simply cannot compete with.

Next time you step outside into a garden, park or lush green space, why not take a minute to slow down and experience the peace and beauty that only the wonders of nature can bring?

Look out for these seven small wonders of nature this winter – they may just enrich your life in ways you never thought possible.


First frost

The first frost of the year can catch you unawares. One minute you’re basking in the warmth of summer; the next, Jack Frost is coating autumn seed-heads with ice. Though it’s tempting to creep back into bed with a cup of tea on those first chilly mornings, there’s something else you could consider. The Danes call it hygge: a word to describe the comfort and warmth derived from doing simple, cosy things. And what could be simpler than a walk (wrapped up warm of course) to appreciate the first frost?

Image shows frost over fields

Image credit: Nature Picture Library


Long shadows

Steep, north-facing hills, or even ramparts of hill forts or castles, are great places to spot long shadows on a bright winter’s day. Stand at the top of the hill and, depending on how

low the sun is, your own shadow could reach to the bottom. Wave your arms, shake your legs, and have a bit of fun. No one will care, but if you feel shy take a young family member with you. Children know how much fun it is to play games with shadows. We’ve just forgotten.

Long shadows from trees

Image credit: National Trust Images/John Miller


Tawny owls

On nights of great activity, when youngsters fly through fiercely guarded territories, and resident owls can be on high alarm, that’s the time to go outside. For most of the year, tawny owls lead relatively quiet lives, so when you hear them calling there is definitely something important going on. It doesn’t matter if you live in the centre of town or in the countryside, there’s little to compare to the sound of an owl, or two owls, calling in the darkness, but you can’t appreciate the experience fully without being outside.

Tawny owls

Image credit: Nature Picture Library



There’s definitely something magical about a fresh fall of snow, and when it happens at night, it’s a great excuse for some early-morning nature sleuthing. Most of us are unfamiliar

with the visitors to our gardens in the hours of darkness, but a snowfall leaves us tantalising clues. Though it’s tempting to stay indoors during cold weather, pulling on as many jumpers, coats and woolly socks as possible and getting outside to look for animal prints is well worth the effort.

Bird in the snow

Image credit: Shutterstock



December is a great time to spot shooting stars or, to give them their proper name, meteor showers. In fact, these slingshots of light aren’t stars at all. They’re streams of light from cosmic dust, sometimes as small as grains of sand, that blaze sparkler-like as they enter the earth’s atmosphere. A clear, cloudless and still night is best for meteor spotting.

Meteors and stars

Image credit: Shutterstock



There aren’t many places you won’t find a robin. From your garden, local park, green space or even while walking down an urban side street, you’re likely to hear its warbling song. High to begin with, the notes descend to a lower pitch but increase in tempo. Some phrases are quick, others slow; they can be long or short and punctuated by pauses. The song is so exquisite it has even been mistaken for a nightingale.


Image credit: Alamy



Hazel catkins

Trees and shrubs might look lifeless and bare during the early months of the year, but if you look closely, a slow reawakening is already taking place. From January, hazel catkins are lengthening and shimmering in the breeze like forgotten Christmas decorations.

hazel catkin

Image credit: Alamy


Book cover of Nature's Wonders


Nature’s Wonders: Moments that Mark the Seasons by Jane V. Adams offers the ultimate glimpse into our natural world throughout the year. The perfect gift for nature lovers, this exquisite guide is available to buy online now and from all good bookshops.