The hashtag #morethanweeds popped up in my Twitter timeline yesterday (thanks to @aturealexk). I didn’t think about it much because I was participating in #birdrace (shoutout to my awesome virtual team GEO-Tag der Natur where my colleagues and I jointly saw almost 100 different species of birds within a day) and was busy looking for birds and then trying to figure out what kind of birds they were.
However, #morethanweeds must have been on my mind this morning when, in addition to very many pictures of water, I took this picture of a dandelion growing in a wall, and it stuck with me all day. The idea is that there are tons of “weeds” growing everywhere in urban (and any other, of course) spaces and that a lot of people currently do have plenty of time, some of which they spend going on walks. So why not use the opportunity that they are walking right past interesting plants to a) point out to them that they are walking right past interesting plants (which many of them might not even notice without the prompt) and b) give them a little something about the plant? Even if only a name that they can then go on and google if they are curious, or the realization that, the next time they walk past a similar plant, they might actually know what it’s called, or know where to go back to to look it up, or maybe that it’s a different plant and the curiosity to find out something about it?
One thing I noticed yesterday through my participation in #birdrace was how differently, and much more intensely, I looked at birds over the course of just a few hours. And all that just because someone (hi, Nena!) gave me a reason to. And it didn’t end yesterday, this morning I saw a bird I didn’t know and that I hadn’t spotted yesterday, and I tried to take pictures of it in order to look it up properly once I got home. At least for me, this is the kind of thing that really works to rouse my curiosity!
So tomorrow, I’ll take two things with me on my morning walk: chalk, and my plants field guide!
And I’ll be thinking about how to take this super simple idea and apply it to wave watching… Any ideas, anyone?