How To Read Nature

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Nobody wakes up in the morning and decides to shut down their senses and stumble through each day in an oblivious bubble, and yet some people end up having much richer experiences than others.

In How to Read Nature, natural navigator Tristan Gooley strives to reawaken our senses to help us understand and deepen our personal experience of nature. His message is to connect—however we can, and to whatever draws us in. As Gooley is the first to recognize, “Nature is not one big pile. Plants set some people on fire and douse the enthusiasms of others.”

Some readers will find they have a knack for predicting rain, or that, after ten minutes of trying to draw a tree, they will never look at one the same way again. For others, the landscape will come to life once they see everything from butterflies to bears as locked in a Darwinian struggle for survival.

By pairing his philosophy—that there’s much more to nature than meets the eye, if we know where and how to look—with 15 simple get-out-the-door exercises, Gooley invites readers who have shared his previous adventures to go out and make their own discoveries. But all are likely to discover this: One consequence of starting to notice new things is [to] notice how little we have been noticing.