5 Unusual Ways in Which Nature Guides Us

For many years poets, artists and those filled with a sense of wanderlust have flocked to Africa to uncover her many hidden secrets. There are plenty of high tourist areas, rocky coastal regions and cities waiting to be explored; but the main reason why people visit this complex continent? It’s because of the bushveld – its sunsets and sunrises, wildlife, rich vegetation and vast spaces. It’s the unexplored and the rawness that sees us flocking to the bushveld time and time again. Even within reserves, concessions and parks scattered with lodges, the surrounds are still wild and unpredictable.

The natural world offers us the opportunity to tap into our roots and that primitive back-to-basics part of our personality that gets lost in the humdrum of everyday living. No wonder people fall in love with our Africa – she is masterful, powerful, enigmatic, complicated, exquisite and unforgiving. The wild of Africa holds so many secrets, but in actual fact it also holds all the answers while gently guiding us towards being better, and living better. The bushveld will offer you the answers in ways you never thought possible – answers that resonate with your everyday living.

Here are 5 unusual ways in which nature guides us : 

1. Offers Ideas for Colour Palettes for Interior Decorating and Fashion

We need to turn to nature and observe her many changing colours to gain ideas about how we can bring her natural palette into our modern way of living. Stop, observe and watch the myriad of patterns and colours on birds, trees, flowers and shrubbery. If you’re wondering about pairing colours, try to think of a particular plant or species of wildlife that naturally “wears” that combination.

The lilac-breasted roller shows us that lilac, pale blue, cobalt blue and pale green work well together.  The crested barbet displays its burnt orange, yellows, whites and blacks with pride. The woodland kingfisher dons an electric blue and bright red colour combo. Our advice? look to the birds for fashion tips!

Crested barbet : Image by Em Gatland

Crested barbet : Image by Em Gatland

Lilac-breasted Roller : Image by Em Gatland

Lilac-breasted roller : Image by Em Gatland

Zebra boasting black and white stripes : Image by Em Gatland

Zebra boasting black and white stripes : Image by Em Gatland

2. It Heals Heartache and Makes us Fall in Love

When we are confronted with heartache, we tend to keep busy and box away the emotions. As humans, we don’t deal – we become frenetic with activity instead of taking time out to process and let go. Nature has a natural healing effect – after all, we are just highly developed animals. For those that come on safari, they are forced to be in the moment without any distractions.

On the other hand, nature is also an aphrodisiac, and she doesn’t need to do much to draw us into her loving web. There are often sparks on safari , which is why many people suffer from “khaki fever”!

3. Teaches us how to locate direction

Having trouble locating north, south, east and west? If you’re stuck in the bushveld or just interested in the cardinal points, then we have a way of locating direction without the use of a compass. Dung beetles use the milky way for direction, and they move in a straight line.

If you look up to the sky, you notice a myriad of constellations and asterisms. In the southern hemisphere, there is the southern cross which is a group of stars that helps us find us due south. There are two pointer stars (you’ll need to figure out the angles and just how to pinpoint this) that, when the angles are worked out point to the South Celestial Pole.

Milky way stars : Image by Em Gatland

Milky way stars : Image by Em Gatland

4.  Pregnancy

Elephants ingest certain plants which are not part of their regular diet during pregnancy. This helps to combat nausea and they even eat bark to help induce labour. When elephants in East Africa are due to give birth, they will eat a tree from the boraginaceae family. This induces labour.

The Marula tree is of great significance. Referred to as the “marriage tree” by locals, it is believed that if you ingest a bark infusion of a male or female tree, it will determine the sex of your baby.

Elephants : Image by Em Gatland

Elephants : Image by Em Gatland

5. Diet

If you ever find yourself without food and water in the ‘veld, and you don’t know what to eat and drink; then we have a solution for you. Elephants will only drink pristine water, and will travel miles to seek out only the purest of water. If in doubt, follow the herds ! Vervet monkeys have a similar constitution to us, so it’s quite safe to follow a similar diet.

Author: Carolynne Higgins

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