by Taetske | 3:50 pm
(Last Updated On: May 24, 2019)

What you can learn by observing Nature

 

I have lived in my now 180-year-old farmhouse since 1981 and as it was a ruin when I bought it nature was really wild in those times. There was a big patio and a well which had been closed by putting big stones in it. I think perhaps with the thought no village children would fall into it when they would come to play in this abandoned place. I observed that potatoes were growing on the patio and on looking closer I discovered there was some 20 cm of old leaves which presented the nourishment for things to grow there. Underneath this layer, I saw a nice pattern of cobblestones which, with a slope, led away from the house.

Farmers were clever people, even if this house has no foundation, it was built on the earth with big stones, straw, and sand to make its thick walls of 50 cm, never any rainwater has come in. The cobblestones would take care of that.

 

My patio with rain

My patio with rain.

 

The property is quite big, close to being 1 hectare and as it is surrounded on 3 sides by one neighbor who has an organic farm with avocados, that is why many birds, insects, and small mammals live here. I build a small fish pond on the patio, a bigger one on the East side of the house and on the Southside, a bit away from the house, is a really big one which I repaired.
I have always loved to observe nature, I find it fascinating and one can learn a lot of curious things.

 

dragonfly

Dragonfly

 

The amazing Dragonfly

Every year one can observe the wedding dance of the dragonfly. There are red, green, yellow and blue ones. When they fly as a couple you never see a pair of the same color. I have not discovered the meaning of this but perhaps it is a help for them to not chose the wrong partner, who knows. They fly for hours putting their eggs in the shallow water

 

 

The Praying Manta

In the garden, one can often observe a grown-up Praying Manta, quite an impressively big and green insect. I always hope my cats do not get hold of it because if it escapes it often loses a leg.

I was curious to see the nest of these insects but it took me many years to find out. Then one day I came upon a strange, like egg-shaped, thing hanging in a tree. I touched it and it felt and also sounded like ctenophore plastic. It had a light brown color and then it happened, a baby Praying Manta, barely 1 cm big and transparent, came out. From that moment on I always took care when watering the garden or cutting trees and bushes to not harm them.

 

 

My Turtles

In the big fish pond, a lot of exciting things have happened over the years. In 1981 I made an expedition to the brook which was nearby. There I saw a spot with some big stones because of which the water flow was divided. On the other side next to the big stones, the water was very calm and on the bottom, I could see a small sandbank. There I fished 2 small turtles and took them to my pond.

Just as well as years later a new urbanization was built on the slope of the mountain, As in those times the laws on wastewater were not severe it was led into the brook and all life died, the water started smelling bad and formed like dirty foam.

Over the years I observed the turtles grow and as the pond is cleaned in January I always know how many there are. Years later, while cleaning the ground around it, close to the fence my gardener found a nest with 6 baby turtles which, after seeing they were ok, were introduced to the pond.

 

Wild Ducks

Something else which happened years ago was absolutely sweet. A wild mother duck had her nest in the neighboring plot and when the eggs hatched she took her children swimming. Many afternoons I was able to observe this from a distance. Then after some weeks, the whole family went away, babies must have been grown up enough to start taking flying lessons.

 

Toad

Toad

 

The endangered toad

In Spain toads are a protected species, they like humid hiding places and when it rains like in October and December they come out to go to the wedding in the big pond. It can happen when coming home in the dark they are crossing the access road to the property. The girls are big and the boys are small, it is quite a sight to see her carrying him on her back. If they are blocking the traffic I just pick them up and put them to the side. They often walk on the patio and my cats look but know not to bother them as they do not present walking food. The years where there is little rain one normally does not see any.

There is a big problem. In case there are too many boys she will run the risk to be strangled underwater, not so nice. The eggs are put like a pearl necklace tied up on a floating stick or the leaf of a water plant. It often happens that some of the parents die and lie on the bottom of the pond. When the tadpoles come out they first eat the jelly which surrounded them. Afterward, they clean up their parents, I have often seen a small white skeleton lying below. I think that nature has organized that nicely, parents who care for their children even after they are gone.

 

Conclusion

I have always enjoyed observing nature, one can learn so much and it is always interesting. One should really take the time as nature holds so many beautiful things. Spring I find especially beautiful as nature awakens, everything is fresh and new, and birds are singing their most beautiful concerts.

 

Source: My Life

Photo Source: Free Great Pictures and Private Photo.

 

You might also like to read the following post.

Cats, My Love for these Amazing Animals

Comments

John ツ

What an interesting website Taetske and most wonderful way of life you have chose to live, I do envy you. You must find now natural treasures in your neck of the woods. I can feel the peace and serenity just by looking at the photos. Being so close to nature and yest being part of an history must be something extremely powerful.

Thanks for sharing.

John ツ

Jul 08.2017 | 01:48 pm

    admin

    Good afternoon John,

    I am happy you like my website, thank you for the compliment. I must say I am glad about my life close to nature, already as a small girl, I was interested in all the things which would happen in the garden we had in Holland. I would make expeditions with our dog and cat and would explore for hours till my Mother would call, dinner is ready.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jul 08.2017 | 04:10 pm

Isaac

I went on a eurotrip in 2016, we didn’t make it to Spain, but I so wanted to go there. We have been to countries like Italy and the Netherlands, don’t get me wrong, they were awesome.

Next time for sure, i am going to visit SPAIN! Especially since I’ve read this, how you showed me the beautiful sights from Spain

Nov 30.2018 | 01:12 pm

Miguel

Hi Taetske,

Great article! I also enjoy observing nature, it gives me a sense of tranquility and of feeling like I’m in harmory with the environment around me that I always loved. I live in the city now so I don’t get as many opportunities to just observe nature anymore but in the weekends I go to the countryside to relax.

The Dragonflys really are beautiful! wow, and the toads too.

Cheers,

Miguel

Nov 30.2018 | 01:14 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Miguel,

    Happy to hear you like dragonflies and toads. There are not many people who like toads. I think they are cute and I do not mind to pick them up. This year there were really many snakes in the big fish pond. During the summer season, we picked up around 20 and brought them to the neighbor. They hunt the fish and frogs, I know they also need to eat but not too many. 

    Thank you for leaving a comment. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Nov 30.2018 | 02:39 pm

Dianne

Your garden and your home sound like a paradise on earth! how fascinating is your story of moving into your home which was a ruin and the gem of having a well!

From dragon flies, to ducks swimming in the pond i really enjoyed reading your lovely well written article so thank you so much for sharing this. 

Nov 30.2018 | 01:17 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Diana,

    Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Nice to hear you liked reading my story. These more than 35 years have been an adventure. My friends also say I live in paradise and that is true but it has been a lot of work building it up.

    Regards, Taetske

    Nov 30.2018 | 02:38 pm

Chris

What a really interesting article, I’m so glad I came across it today and got a glimpse into your life and the way you live it. I can imagine the wonderful sights you can discover in your area of the world. 

I actually live rurally in South Wales and have a lot of nature around me – unfortunately I’m usually too busy to take much notice of it! I’ll try my best to immerse myself in it from now onward! 

Nov 30.2018 | 01:17 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Chris,

    I know what you mean as working on a computer takes a lot of time. I always try to do some garden work in the morning if I do not have to do housework which I find stupid as it never stops. At least in a garden, you can enjoy the result of your work. This morning I finished the repair of an old garden wall which had come tumbling down.

    Over the years I have built 2 fish ponds, flower beds, a bookshelf, and a pergola and I am proud to be able to say all is still functioning and standing.

    When I was 16 years old I studied English in Kent and Surrey, good memories.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope to see you again.

    Regards, Taetske 

    Nov 30.2018 | 02:38 pm

Steve T

Your place sounds wonderful; I envy your practical and intimate relationship with the nature around it.  Although Google searches, Wikipedia and other web resources offer great in-depth answers on a multitude of topics, they fall short in the selection of questions for learning.  Your exploration of the life of the toads and praying mantis are particularly fascinating and raise great questions. I hope you continue to see them next spring and for years to come.

I think nature around us it the best inspiration for meaningful questions about life and our world.  Thanks for sharing your beautiful old home and the nature that surrounds it.

Best,

Steve

Nov 30.2018 | 01:25 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Steve,

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I am blessed with finding this place and being able to live here so many years. The building up process was exciting and challenging at the same time. It cost me all my money, hard physical work and sweat, and quite some tears now and then.

    Now, as I am older it is getting too big, too much work so I am thinking of selling and then build something smaller and more practical. I love building myself and supervising the building of a house. From making the design to choosing the building materials and finding a good builder, all that I like. I supervised the building of the house for my Mother next door, 3 court cases included which we won. Exciting times I can tell you.

    There is a source of information you might not know. It holds unusual documents and I have used it sometimes for writing posts. http://www.wdl.org  

    Regards, Taetske

    Dec 01.2018 | 08:15 am

Fredery

I thought I was alone. It is good know that out there are people that love and protects nature, and people that also want to be out there enjoying, observing, exploring instead of being at home, in front of a computer, smartphone all day long.

I think I am the only person in my family that loves things that have to do with nature and also with natural medicine

I like your article, your perspective is like an artist, you see beautiful things where not everyone can

Thanks for sharing your experiences

Nov 30.2018 | 01:27 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Fredery,

    I can assure you that you are not alone as there luckily are many people who like and care for nature. That is very necessary nowadays as our environment is suffering. Humans can do so many stupid things that it is pitiful as it affects Flora, Fauna, and the entire human race.

    That was sweet of you to say I am an artist, well, actually I am one albeit a small one. When I was young I used to paint, work with clay, play and write music. Later on in life, here on my farm, I did creative things like building flower beds, and fishponds, in total create my environment. It took me more than 30 years but it has become really lovely.

    Thank you for leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Dec 01.2018 | 08:15 am

David

I live in a townhome in the city but I still manage to marvel at nature all around me. I love and marvel at the way life evolves and adapts to whatever it’s surroundings are. I do live near a lake so I get to see the baby ducklings in the spring and watch them as they struggle to avoid their natural predators and make it to adulthood. But there are so many other things to see… the clouds, flowers, sunsets…

Thanks for the peek into the nature that surrounds you. 

Nov 30.2018 | 01:35 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning David,

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I grew up in the woods in Holland and from small on I have loved nature. I am a Taurus so that also helps.

    Nice to hear you liked my post. I hope to see you again.

    Regards, Taetske

    Dec 01.2018 | 08:15 am

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