Look Closer

Slow down. Look carefully. You may be missing out on a lot of wildlife in your garden!

When I travel around the country speaking at conferences about Ecosystem Gardening for wildlife, I teach people that the best garden tool is a lawn chair. Take the time to look closely and observe what is happening in your wildlife garden. You’ll be surprised at all the fun stuff you’ve been missing!

Kevin J. Railsback has also mentioned the joys of taking time to look closer:

Don’t be in a hurry to capture your gardens and the creatures that call it home.

Pull up a lawn chair, a blanket or just sit on the ground and relax. Enjoy the fruits of you labor. Don’t move much, just sit, breath and take it all in.

Once you do, you’ll be come aware of details in your plants and garden that you might have overlooked. Wildlife will no longer see you as a threat and start going about their business. All great things when you’re trying to capture nature at it’s finest.

So I’ve pulled together a series of photos to illustrate many of the wonderful critters you may see when you take the time to slow down, relax, and look carefully.

Can you spot the Great Horned Owl?

GH Owl long sm

But, look closer. Can you see the owl now?

GH Owl 1 sm

The Brown Thrasher is often difficult to spot because it is a skulker, hiding in dense shrubs.

Brown Thrasher long sm

But if you’re patient, you may be rewarded by this view:

Brown Thrasher 1 sm

Who’s hiding behind the grass?

Robin behind grass sm

Can you tell see him now?

Robin in grass 2 sm

And who’s hiding in this grass?

Leopard Frog sm

See the bird butt in the tree?

Titmouse butt sm

It may be hard to identify birds by their butts (although many birders are expert at this), but waiting calmly for a few seconds brings many rewards. That butt belongs to a Tufted Titmouse

Titmouse Tufted sm

Just pine cones in this field?

Red-bellied Turtle sm

Let’s look closer

Red-bellied Turtle 2 sm

So, relax. Pull up a chair. Take your wildlife garden observations a bit slower. You will notice many things you’ve never seen before!

Tell me about the wildlife you’ve observed when you took the time to look a little closer by leaving a comment below.

Note: most of these photos were taken at Assawoman Wildlife Area in southeast Delaware.

© 2014, Carole Sevilla Brown. All rights reserved. This article is the property of EcosystemGardening.com If you are reading this at another site, please report that to us

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  1. says

    If there was just one thing I could tell people to do in order to experience nature and wildlife it would be to slow down and relax.
    Not only do you become more aware of your surroundings but you can literally feel the days stress fall away like a shredded cocoon.

    We live Ina fast food instant gratification society, so slowing down to natures pace is sometimes a difficult thing to do but the rewards are immense!
    Kevin J Railsback recently posted..Three Secret Weapons for Better Nature and Wildlife Filmmaking

    • says

      So true, Kevin! I know some birders who race through a natural area quickly checking off every bird they hear without ever taking the time to slow down, be in the moment, and enjoy the beauty around them. I am NOT that kind of birder. I like to take my time, listen, observe, and truly absorb the wonder of each place that I visit.
      Carole Sevilla Brown recently posted..Birding Festivals Through the Year

  2. says

    I adore this post! I sometimes go out into my garden with a camera to force me to slow down and look. I may start off thinking, there’s nothing in the garden right now. Before I know it, I’m uncovering wildlife by the leaf-full.
    Green Bean recently posted..My Big Fat Pollinator Garden

  3. DeAnna B says

    This is a really good article! Sometimes we’re working so hard in our gardens we don’t take the time to enjoy the fruit of our labor. It’s time to to sit, observe, relax & enjoy!


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