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The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals—and Other Forgotten Skills

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Turn Every Walk into a Game of Detection When writer and navigator Tristan Gooley journeys outside, he sees a natural world filled with clues. The roots of a tree indicate the sun’s direction; the Big Dipper tells the time; a passing butterfly hints at the weather; a sand dune reveals prevailing wind; the scent of cinnamon suggests altitude; a budding flower points south. T Turn Every Walk into a Game of Detection When writer and navigator Tristan Gooley journeys outside, he sees a natural world filled with clues. The roots of a tree indicate the sun’s direction; the Big Dipper tells the time; a passing butterfly hints at the weather; a sand dune reveals prevailing wind; the scent of cinnamon suggests altitude; a budding flower points south. To help you understand nature as he does, Gooley shares more than 850 tips for forecasting, tracking, and more, gathered from decades spent walking the landscape around his home and around the world. Whether you’re walking in the country or city, along a coastline, or by night, this is the ultimate resource on what the land, sun, moon, stars, plants, animals, and clouds can reveal—if you only know how to look!


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Turn Every Walk into a Game of Detection When writer and navigator Tristan Gooley journeys outside, he sees a natural world filled with clues. The roots of a tree indicate the sun’s direction; the Big Dipper tells the time; a passing butterfly hints at the weather; a sand dune reveals prevailing wind; the scent of cinnamon suggests altitude; a budding flower points south. T Turn Every Walk into a Game of Detection When writer and navigator Tristan Gooley journeys outside, he sees a natural world filled with clues. The roots of a tree indicate the sun’s direction; the Big Dipper tells the time; a passing butterfly hints at the weather; a sand dune reveals prevailing wind; the scent of cinnamon suggests altitude; a budding flower points south. To help you understand nature as he does, Gooley shares more than 850 tips for forecasting, tracking, and more, gathered from decades spent walking the landscape around his home and around the world. Whether you’re walking in the country or city, along a coastline, or by night, this is the ultimate resource on what the land, sun, moon, stars, plants, animals, and clouds can reveal—if you only know how to look!

30 review for The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals—and Other Forgotten Skills

  1. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    Should be titled "Some vague tips about noticing your landscape, if you find yourself in the middle of a long walk in Britain without the aid of a GPS." This book indeed had a different title in the UK, where it was originally published and with respect to its intended audience. Disappointing for the Yankees suckered in by its misleading title. Should be titled "Some vague tips about noticing your landscape, if you find yourself in the middle of a long walk in Britain without the aid of a GPS." This book indeed had a different title in the UK, where it was originally published and with respect to its intended audience. Disappointing for the Yankees suckered in by its misleading title.

  2. 5 out of 5

    M.E. Kinkade

    This book is excellent, in that it is full of really cool facts and you'll come away with all kinds of obscure knowledge that you can use to annoy and mystify people with (hey, did you know "moonbows" are a thing? It's like a rainbow but at night!). But it's also virtually impossible to just sit down and read as it lacks almost all narrative structure and is fundamentally like the guy you've just met at a party who decides to tell you everything he knows about roots; you're bored, but you sit and This book is excellent, in that it is full of really cool facts and you'll come away with all kinds of obscure knowledge that you can use to annoy and mystify people with (hey, did you know "moonbows" are a thing? It's like a rainbow but at night!). But it's also virtually impossible to just sit down and read as it lacks almost all narrative structure and is fundamentally like the guy you've just met at a party who decides to tell you everything he knows about roots; you're bored, but you sit and nod because you're trying to be polite. The information is interesting, in bite-sized pieces, but it's so choppy that it's been impossible for me to read for more than 5 minutes a stretch. Plus I often feel I would be better served trying to read it at a time I can actually practice what I've learned. So maybe take this book with you on your next hike or camping trip or when you're stranded on an island; it will be really great to have in those situations. If you're looking for a beach read, however, keep looking.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Russ Mckell

    i wanted to like this book but it had several problems. first, it's set in great britain and so much of the plants, trees, and weather he references has more application to there than north america. second, it is basically just a large list of facts and interesting tidbits that have been divided my type. this would be a FANTASTIC reference book - if you're interested in trees, go to the section on trees; if you're interested in plants, go to the section on plants, and so on. reading this from st i wanted to like this book but it had several problems. first, it's set in great britain and so much of the plants, trees, and weather he references has more application to there than north america. second, it is basically just a large list of facts and interesting tidbits that have been divided my type. this would be a FANTASTIC reference book - if you're interested in trees, go to the section on trees; if you're interested in plants, go to the section on plants, and so on. reading this from start to finish became more of a task than a joy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cameron

    For me, this book was amazing. For years, I have been trying to improve my observation of the world around me, with limited success. This book has bumped me to the next level, as it has tied in with prior reading (indeed the author's previous book was one piece of this reading, but it wasn't that prior book that led me to grok it!) and some observational and tracking training I have had, and just helped it all gel. Don't get me wrong, I still have a huge distance to go with this, but this book h For me, this book was amazing. For years, I have been trying to improve my observation of the world around me, with limited success. This book has bumped me to the next level, as it has tied in with prior reading (indeed the author's previous book was one piece of this reading, but it wasn't that prior book that led me to grok it!) and some observational and tracking training I have had, and just helped it all gel. Don't get me wrong, I still have a huge distance to go with this, but this book has pushed me a good way forward and just made the world a more interesting place for me. If you are receptive, and ready for it, I think this book can literally open your eyes to things in the world that you may have been missing everyday. It teaches you to really look at the environment you are in and truly notice it, to spot the clues all about you, make connections from them, and extrapolate something that was there to be found but was hidden. You can use these techniques to find direction, or to discern the habits of things around you, or see into the past of the place you are in. You will truly notice the blowing of the wind, the movement of clouds, the way the grass has bent in a paddock, how certain trees look like they have been lifting weights, or how another tree is tall when it should be short. You will hear the different calls of birds, see how moss has grown in some places but not others, notice how one part of a street is just a little more worn than the the rest, wonder (and answer) what ivy and other vines are reaching for, and many other things. You will start to notice where water has puddled, ants have made their nest, and perhaps perceive some of what has shaped the land you walk upon. Tracks and trails will start to jump out at you. You may even realise where it would be best to go to get a photograph of a rainbow at sunset. Better still, you will notice all this and begin to perceive what story it is telling you about the place you are in! It is all quite marvelous! Some people can already do all that - I know four people who can do this sort of thing as easily as breathing - but I couldn't. I couldn't even begin to do it. Now... It's not like breathing, not even close, but I am a lot better than I was. Maybe I can begin now. To be helpful, let me suggest to you some traps I have noticed and that you can perhaps avoid if I point them out - for this to work, you must walk with an open and questioning mind, seeing all there is to see and all the clues offered. You must take it all in, and not tunnel your attention or observation for very long(e.g. trying to find direction from the clouds, or even trying to find direction from multiple sources) lest you miss other clues. The trick is not to seek direction, but discover it if it is there to be found. You must also never seek something to support an assumption you have (or you will find it, but it will likely be wrong), but must see what is really there. You must also notice when things change. Do not rest upon your laurels. This kind of information is usually highly situational and the clues will change as you move, and you must notice them change as they do. Lastly, and this is the hardest thing, you must keep practicing every day because as soon as you forget and allow your attention to turn only inwards, then your eyes will close and your mind go to sleep, and you will once again start to miss the world around you. P.S. It's not a trap, but FYI, this book is written for the northern hemisphere, specifically for the UK walker, and some specific facts and scenarios listed in the book do not apply elsewhere (but a variation may well apply, if you think it through. Do not try to rote learn signs and clues).

  5. 4 out of 5

    David McGrogan

    I feel a sense of sadness in giving this book 3-stars, because there is so much about it to like, and I am so clearly its target audience - you couldn't pick a person more likely to be excited by the prospect of reading a book like this. But that is the point: what I am excited by is the prospect of reading a book "like this" and not, unfortunately, the book itself. Parts of it are extremely interesting. But the whole is underwhelming. Is it the rather leaden prose, which never really sings from I feel a sense of sadness in giving this book 3-stars, because there is so much about it to like, and I am so clearly its target audience - you couldn't pick a person more likely to be excited by the prospect of reading a book like this. But that is the point: what I am excited by is the prospect of reading a book "like this" and not, unfortunately, the book itself. Parts of it are extremely interesting. But the whole is underwhelming. Is it the rather leaden prose, which never really sings from the page? Is it the feeling that, at times, what you are reading is simply the replication of a lesson which the author has taught so many times it has become a little robotic? Is that you wish for a bit more detail in some places and a bit less in others? I have a hard time putting my finger on quite what it is that made me rather glad to finally put this one down, despite my wanting to like it so very, very much. (I daresay this desperation to like it is why I can't bring myself to give it 2 stars when that is perhaps what I think it deserves.)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Geevee

    A delightful easy reading guide to reading one's surroundings. The book won't qualify you as Ferdinand Magellan or Vasco da Gama but will make walks around the countryside and even towns more interesting. The interspersion of the author's trips to the wilds of Borneo were also interesting, especially how some techniques were adaptable whereas others were not used by indigenous people. Fortunate to have been taught map-reading and survival techniques when a young man there was still much I learnt A delightful easy reading guide to reading one's surroundings. The book won't qualify you as Ferdinand Magellan or Vasco da Gama but will make walks around the countryside and even towns more interesting. The interspersion of the author's trips to the wilds of Borneo were also interesting, especially how some techniques were adaptable whereas others were not used by indigenous people. Fortunate to have been taught map-reading and survival techniques when a young man there was still much I learnt here, and many things that will make family walks fun; even if my need to take a map and Kendal mint cake is still a part of my prep. Overall, there's something for everyone here whether you're city slicker, beach-comber or hiker.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Ironically, when I choose this book to review I was looking forwarding to using it as a way to understand and enjoy the outdoors more than I have and boost my skills. It turned out that I wound up in the hospital for several weeks during the publishing date and I decided to read it anyway. How lucky I was. Not only did this city girl learn more than I thought possible about the outdoors but it also gave me an escape, an education and a way out of the hospital to new adventures in my mind. I thin Ironically, when I choose this book to review I was looking forwarding to using it as a way to understand and enjoy the outdoors more than I have and boost my skills. It turned out that I wound up in the hospital for several weeks during the publishing date and I decided to read it anyway. How lucky I was. Not only did this city girl learn more than I thought possible about the outdoors but it also gave me an escape, an education and a way out of the hospital to new adventures in my mind. I think pictures and better illustrations could only enhance this book. Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book for an honest opinion.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Betsy Nelson

    There's a lot of information, but jumbled together and with very few illustrations. I found it difficult to follow or learn from. The author certainly knows a lot about nature signs, but (to me) his way of sharing his knowledge does nothing to improve my understanding. There's a lot of information, but jumbled together and with very few illustrations. I found it difficult to follow or learn from. The author certainly knows a lot about nature signs, but (to me) his way of sharing his knowledge does nothing to improve my understanding.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    I don't usually buy books, but I am so happy that I bought this one. I read it cover to cover the first time, and am now going back to study individual sections. This will be an excellent reference book. I'm thrilled to explain some of the things I have learned to my sweet kindergartener. You will find this book on my bookshelf ten years from now with a worn cover, dirt stains and years of notes in the margins. I don't usually buy books, but I am so happy that I bought this one. I read it cover to cover the first time, and am now going back to study individual sections. This will be an excellent reference book. I'm thrilled to explain some of the things I have learned to my sweet kindergartener. You will find this book on my bookshelf ten years from now with a worn cover, dirt stains and years of notes in the margins.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Colin

    This was without a doubt in my mind one of the most enlightening and useful books that I've ever read. It took me almost six months to finish because I took my time meticulously reading every detail, understanding every concept (save for most of those involved with positioning of constellations and phases of the moon, which take a bit more practice to thoroughly understand), and putting into practice what I've read as I hike. A lot of what's detailed in here comes down to common sense, but doesn This was without a doubt in my mind one of the most enlightening and useful books that I've ever read. It took me almost six months to finish because I took my time meticulously reading every detail, understanding every concept (save for most of those involved with positioning of constellations and phases of the moon, which take a bit more practice to thoroughly understand), and putting into practice what I've read as I hike. A lot of what's detailed in here comes down to common sense, but doesn't necessarily occur to the average 21st century hiker who hasn't learned to take notice of it. Most trees will naturally be denser on the south side where the sun dominates in the Northern hemisphere, and it's a safe bet that any sudden shift in wind direction will prelude some change in the climate. But much of what Tristan Gooley does here is point out the innumerable interconnected pieces in the landscape that can be exploited to gauge cardinal direction and interpret the land. The latter incorporates a lot of esoteric knowledge that isn't necessarily intuitive, but sticks out like a sore thumb once you see it. For example, one of the six secrets of ivy is that it tends to approach a tree from the shadier north, then winds around to the sunnier southern side of the tree as it matures. The presence of stinging nettles, inky cap mushrooms, or berry bushes often indicate human disturbance and thereby a settlement likely lingering nearby. The crosswinds rule states that if you stand with your back to the wind and see the clouds moving from left to right, this often precedes a cold front and a subsequent decline in weather conditions, and the opposite if moving right to left. But throughout the book I often wondered where Gooley has obtained all of this knowledge, and if any of it aside from deductions made by way of phototaxis in plants or celestial movement stands to scientific scrutiny. I found it pleasantly surprising that there was a sense of Zen in the way it's written. I could breathlessly extol the book about how it teaches us to observe and appreciate every detail in our natural surroundings, but perhaps one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was because it was half a pragmatic how-to manual for reading and interpreting the language of nature and half a meditative guide allowing us insight into just how intricate nature is, how one detail can affect and interact with the others, and how very, very little in nature is random - there is nearly always a rational explanation as to why something is where it is. Stumble across a lilac cap mushroom, you can then deduce that there are likely box alder trees nearby and therefore an area with alkaline soil and a high water table. The more lichen there are on the trees, the greater the diversity of species, and the more leafy and foliose they are, the better the air quality. Tar spot fungus on tree leaves denotes air with a low concentration of sulfur dioxide and also implicates high air quality. The subtitle is certainly right. The skills taught in this book are all but forgotten in our modern age where the modus operandi for navigation is firing up a GPS and when getting lost in the outdoors can usually be quickly remedied by consulting Google Maps or at its rudiment, staring at a trail map for a minute or two. The skill of reading the land by making deductions from features in the environment is by all means a vestigial one, but as this book proves - the signs are still there and there's a rich jigsaw puzzle of detail screaming information at us as we walk through nature, and it's all just a matter of learning to recognize them.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    3/14/17 $2.99 for Kindle.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristina Rogers

    If the idea of a nature walk with Sherlock Holmes across an English countryside appeals to you, where every pebble, breeze and passing butterfly can be used to predict the weather, time of day and cardinal direction, then this book is for you! It turns out that though I really like the idea of that, in actuality I wasn’t prepared to soak in all of the necessary minutiae. There are so many facts and patterns and tricks presented that the barrage of new knowledge became overwhelming and I could onl If the idea of a nature walk with Sherlock Holmes across an English countryside appeals to you, where every pebble, breeze and passing butterfly can be used to predict the weather, time of day and cardinal direction, then this book is for you! It turns out that though I really like the idea of that, in actuality I wasn’t prepared to soak in all of the necessary minutiae. There are so many facts and patterns and tricks presented that the barrage of new knowledge became overwhelming and I could only handle small sections at a time. Before long, I realized there was no way I was going to remember 95% of this and that I was better off marveling and appreciating each observation as it came, with the hope that on some future hike, my eye will catch the shadow of a bird or notice the particular slant of a tree and allow me to recall a fact that will either dazzle my hiking companions or somehow save us from imminent peril. Case in point: In addition to lichen-related commentary every few pages, there is literally an entire section on the patterns of “church lichens” that details the many conclusions that can be drawn from noticing the lichens on old stone churches around Europe. I never imagined there could be so much to discuss about lichens! Around 250 pages in, the book switches to a travelogue format and then again switches to observations about cities and the observable patterns of humans. Both of these sections were a welcome shift that renewed my interest and proved to be the most enjoyable parts of the book. Overall, I’d give this book 4 stars for an impressively dense collection of nature-based deductions, but that drops to a 3 when I weigh in it’s tedious structure.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish

    Skimming to see if I should recommend it to my dad, so he can get even more out of his hikes. Esp. difficult to tell as the author is based in the UK; much applies anywhere, but much is also local/ regional (as he does try to clarify at each relevancy). I'm not reading it. Too dry, too hard to understand in the abstract from w/in my home. A different organizational scheme, perhaps more anecdotal examples in a different typeface or sidebars, or perhaps more of a bullet-point setup, or something el Skimming to see if I should recommend it to my dad, so he can get even more out of his hikes. Esp. difficult to tell as the author is based in the UK; much applies anywhere, but much is also local/ regional (as he does try to clarify at each relevancy). I'm not reading it. Too dry, too hard to understand in the abstract from w/in my home. A different organizational scheme, perhaps more anecdotal examples in a different typeface or sidebars, or perhaps more of a bullet-point setup, or something else, would help. I mean, it has some of that, but not in a way that seems effective to me. But I do get distracted, as I skim. For example, I wish that, when I was a child exploring local woods, I knew to look for scat to distinguish animal paths from people's. And now I hope to find 'guy roots' of trees to reveal to me the direction of the prevailing winds. There are chapters about Borneo and about cities, too... it's not just for temperate backpackers. There are also appendices. I have now finished, and I can say that I will recommend it to my dad, and to anyone actively interested.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    It started out very slow and seemed like the author was just throwing out a lot of information. The deeper I got into the book, the more I enjoyed it. Some things were explained beautifully, others left you hanging. The author could have used more pictures and diagrams. The ones he did use were quite helpful in explaining the material. At times, it seemed a bit of a slog to get through the material. I would rate it a 3.5, since that was not available, I rounded up.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    I can't remember the last time I learned so much about my immediate surroundings. I was probably an infant. This book kept surprising me. Every chapter would introduce a skill and my initial thought would be, almost without fail, "...how would this be useful?", and then Gooley tells you exactly what it's for and I was humbled and embarrassed by my hubris. A prime example of this was learning how to calculate the moon phases. The moon rises and sets at different times during its cycle, so the amou I can't remember the last time I learned so much about my immediate surroundings. I was probably an infant. This book kept surprising me. Every chapter would introduce a skill and my initial thought would be, almost without fail, "...how would this be useful?", and then Gooley tells you exactly what it's for and I was humbled and embarrassed by my hubris. A prime example of this was learning how to calculate the moon phases. The moon rises and sets at different times during its cycle, so the amount of light you get to see by may be similar for a twelve-day-old moon and an eighteen-day-old one. However, since when the moon is younger it raises earlier than sunset and if it’s older it raises after, you’ll have continuous light at sun down but not at sunrise, and vice versa, which will affect your walk if want to take it at night or in the early morning. And once you know that, it's obvious why it would be useful. Reading this book is not a substitute for actually going outside and putting it into practice; it's a guide that I'm going to keep referencing, one skill at a time, until I am comfortable with a few of them. This was honestly life-changing.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Leena

    I was first intrigued by one of the author's other books, "How to Read Water." As an American, I have never seen him (the only living person to have both sailed and flown over the Atlantic, evidently) on television or even heard about him, as people in England may have from some celebrity trekking through the wilderness show they have over there. But the idea of reading water interested me. I just wasn't sure it would interest me for an entire book. So I went with one of his more general ones. Du I was first intrigued by one of the author's other books, "How to Read Water." As an American, I have never seen him (the only living person to have both sailed and flown over the Atlantic, evidently) on television or even heard about him, as people in England may have from some celebrity trekking through the wilderness show they have over there. But the idea of reading water interested me. I just wasn't sure it would interest me for an entire book. So I went with one of his more general ones. Dude's a geek. Let's get that out the way. I read some other review that likened this book to listening to a guy in a bar talk about all he knew about roots. And I see the point. But I liked it. I'm a geek too. This book managed to keep my interest throughout the month I took to read it. I do adore hiking, and doing so with my family. I learned A TON in this book to talk about and show my kids. I even got to share a few things with my husband, which surprised us both. At the beginning of the book, Gooley tells us that two types of people kind of get this stuff already, and who are very practiced in observing their surroundings: soldiers and artists. And since my husband def. has that artist mind (and was raised by a painter), it did not surprise me that he noticed a chunk of this stuff already. It drives him crazy that the rest of the world doesn't see it. Alas. I'm trying. I was able to point out that in double rainbows, the colors are reversed in the outer bow. I also now can't look at my kids' picture books without criticism when they show the rainbow and the sun in the same scene. :) I was also able to point out to my oldest that the rings in a tree don't grow symmetrically (at least around here), and how that could tell us what direction the tree was "facing." I also now know how to walk on a sand dune, should that ever come up. The book is just chock full of stuff like that. I'd recommend it for people who like to take walks and who (like me) feel kind of bad when they drive past the same scenery every day and never really see it. This book will help. Promise. And I will be checking out his water book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tom Schulte

    There was a talk on his book just walking distance from my home. While I missed the event, it made me aware of the book. Come to learn, it was not a local author but a globetrotting walker who has walked from Edinburgh to London and over days with natives in some Asian wilds. Gooley's years of experience coalesces celestial navigation, geological clues reaching back to the Ice Age, animal behavior in sight and sound, trees pushed back by the harsher Northern weather, and more. Even for someone j There was a talk on his book just walking distance from my home. While I missed the event, it made me aware of the book. Come to learn, it was not a local author but a globetrotting walker who has walked from Edinburgh to London and over days with natives in some Asian wilds. Gooley's years of experience coalesces celestial navigation, geological clues reaching back to the Ice Age, animal behavior in sight and sound, trees pushed back by the harsher Northern weather, and more. Even for someone just interested in a walk of a few miles or curious about the regularity of the moon, this book holds a wealth of details applicable to ones on backyard, especially the backyards of North America and England on both sides of the upper Atlantic.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Lewis

    Lots of interesting techniques for using your surroundings to glean information - from using the moon and stars for navigation to using tree bark and butterflies to find your way. See the author's website for more nature-reading tips and tricks; to sign up for the newsletter in which Gooley posts photos of natural situations and we have to guess what's going on; and to find an in-person class if you happen to be in London. Lots of interesting techniques for using your surroundings to glean information - from using the moon and stars for navigation to using tree bark and butterflies to find your way. See the author's website for more nature-reading tips and tricks; to sign up for the newsletter in which Gooley posts photos of natural situations and we have to guess what's going on; and to find an in-person class if you happen to be in London.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nick Davies

    Bought for me as a gift, objectively this was excellent. Don't get me wrong - this was chock full of fascinating information about the outdoors, and certainly enriching in terms of what it has to say about the natural world. Weather, the celestial sphere, plants and animals, geology and much more. The content of this was very good indeed, and I will return to it to pick up more pearls of wisdom (or just grains of trivia). I will need to, as there was so much to learn here that much has been forg Bought for me as a gift, objectively this was excellent. Don't get me wrong - this was chock full of fascinating information about the outdoors, and certainly enriching in terms of what it has to say about the natural world. Weather, the celestial sphere, plants and animals, geology and much more. The content of this was very good indeed, and I will return to it to pick up more pearls of wisdom (or just grains of trivia). I will need to, as there was so much to learn here that much has been forgotten over the course of such a rich and informative read. But subjectively, I had a problem. It's a matter of taste but it did detract from my enjoyment a slice. The author's writing style, and to an extent the premise of the book, irritated me a little. Gooley is clearly an experienced walker and guide, and I bow to his knowledge and expertise, but at times he comes over a bit humblebrag. Some would appreciate the insertion of the author in his anecdotes but for me I was more interested in the factual content and less in the personal. I also was left slightly feeling like the book was neither a complete fit as a useful lightweight 'carry with you for reference while walking' book, nor a 'read at home like a travel book and be taken on a journey in the wild'. I feel harsh criticising what was a very interesting book that was full of content, for something trivial and personal I felt about it, but it did impinge a little throughout my reading. I couldn't escape all the "Yes, in late May that plant may flower in that orientation so you know north is in that direction.. but how often is this plant the only clue, and why do you not already know where north is?" thoughts.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jasrun

    “The main part of this book has focused your attention on deductions: the things to look out for and the explanations of what each clue means” I definitely needed to read this one. A slow read but rich in knowledge that can be put into practice immediately. This book pieced together what I already knew about the outdoors and added more on top. I think I have found a new genre to explore!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Yani

    Very interesting read, this book does reveal a completely new aspect to the outside world. As the book reveals many many clues and ways to find them, it will be difficult to implement them all. I was only saddened that the book is mainly for UK residents and uses mostly common names for species. I would have liked Latin names along side them to make it just a bit easier to use.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christine Kenney

    This has made the daily bike ride and time spent in the yard fascinating. Lots of reread value.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    DNFed bc it was quite overdue @ the library but I might pick it up again when I have more time

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mina

    Had a lot of cool information that I've been using on my nature walks. Had a lot of cool information that I've been using on my nature walks.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Adie

    I wasn't able to completely finish reading before the library due date; however, I thoroughly enjoyed the 3/4 that I did read. It's going on my "to-buy" list because it's a wealth of random information about our natural world, easy to pick up anytime for a page or chapter, for inspiration or instigation. I wasn't able to completely finish reading before the library due date; however, I thoroughly enjoyed the 3/4 that I did read. It's going on my "to-buy" list because it's a wealth of random information about our natural world, easy to pick up anytime for a page or chapter, for inspiration or instigation.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mo

    4,5 stars. I really really liked this book. Wanted to read it before backpacking in Harz, Germany in two weeks. Definitely did not regret that choice! This book is packed with great tips. From wind, sun, stars and water to tracks, animals and trees, it covers a lot of information about our surroundings. I have learned a lot of things but the most important one is to really actively study my environment, deduct certain things, and focus on small details as they can tell you a lot. This book stimu 4,5 stars. I really really liked this book. Wanted to read it before backpacking in Harz, Germany in two weeks. Definitely did not regret that choice! This book is packed with great tips. From wind, sun, stars and water to tracks, animals and trees, it covers a lot of information about our surroundings. I have learned a lot of things but the most important one is to really actively study my environment, deduct certain things, and focus on small details as they can tell you a lot. This book stimulates you to think more about why things look the way they do. If you want to know how to know your latitude on earth, why this lichen only grows on one side of a tree, why a bird makes such a weird sound, how broad that river is, or what the colour of mud tells us, then this is the book for you! Only thing that disappointed me was the low amount of pictures. The drawings that were included definitely added a lot and I would have liked more of them as they clarify the clues Tristan Gooley tells us about. Quotes: ¨It is not the map that should make sense of the land, but the land that should make a map for us.¨ ¨Randomness is not a great survival strategy, so it is rare in nature.¨

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura-Kristiina Valdson

    Full of interesting facts, but written in a very dull way. Not sure if it's badly edited, but the writing could've been more interesting. Nevertheless, I enjoyed some chapters a lot, especially about trees and stars. Full of interesting facts, but written in a very dull way. Not sure if it's badly edited, but the writing could've been more interesting. Nevertheless, I enjoyed some chapters a lot, especially about trees and stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Not real accurate. I found myself questioning this book so much that I had to just put it down.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Following on from his previous books, The natural Navigator & The Natural Explorer, Gooley in this one is hoping to expand your knowledge of the natural world. It is a reference work, written to be used to build your knowledge of the outside environment, with lots of examples and is packed with data for you to use and learn. Using clues from the sky and the flora and fauna around you, he will teach you how to tell the time using the stars, how listening to the sounds that birds make will tell you Following on from his previous books, The natural Navigator & The Natural Explorer, Gooley in this one is hoping to expand your knowledge of the natural world. It is a reference work, written to be used to build your knowledge of the outside environment, with lots of examples and is packed with data for you to use and learn. Using clues from the sky and the flora and fauna around you, he will teach you how to tell the time using the stars, how listening to the sounds that birds make will tell you if there is anyone else out there with you, how to read the lie of the land, use the plants and trees to gauge where the compass points are, the prevailing winds to get decent shelter and how to read and use the phases of the moon for night walks. He has included a couple of chapters on the urban environment too, and shows how to use your observation skills on items like TV aerials to ascertain direction and how the use of modern technology like smartphones has led to changes in how and where people shop. He has also included an account of a trip to Borneo, and of his time spent with the nomadic natives there, understanding how they moved and navigated through dense jungles. A fascinating book, packed full of details and tip for enhancing any journey or trip that you take. One of the most important things that you can take away from this is the power of observation of your environment can reveal so much detail about where you are. Well worth reading. 3.5 stars overall

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    A great guide to “natural navigation” - using the ground, trees, plants, animals and sky to navigate. The book is full of enthusiasm for spotting nature’s clues and certainly after reading it, no walk will be quite the same again! Would benefit from more illustrations or photos to aid understanding and recognition.

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