Glimmers - things in nature that lift your spirits

, 04 December 2023
Glimmers - things in nature that lift your spirits
Autumn Beechwood © Roger Wilmshurst

Emma Chaplin 

Communications Officer

A glimmer is the opposite of a trigger - it's something that lifts the spirits. For example, I saw an absolute blizzard of copper-coloured leaves fall, like snow, last week when the wind picked up. Slanted sunshine seemed to light them up and it really was quite magical.

I asked around the staff team for examples they can think of.

Natasha Sharma, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve (RHNR)

Starlings and Rooks flying up from the fields into the frosty air is always a glimmering sight in the winter. Especially when there's a clear sky to watch them drift and flow off into the distance.

Emma Bennett, CEO Office

The little Robin hopping around the steps at the staff entrance to Woods Mill; he was a lovely little welcome to work on an otherwise dull and damp day.

Robin © Stephen Redden
Robin © Stephen Redden

Heather Salisbury, Membership

I stood on the beach at West Wittering a few weeks ago – at the very end of the beach where dogs can go all year – in the wind and rain but the sun was shining and everywhere looked like glorious tones of grey and silver and I took in a great deep breath of fresh sea air and felt incredibly energised and happy!

Sophie Atkinson, Wild Coast Sussex

The falling of leaves. I went for a walk in the rain at Stanmer Park and I felt like I was in a fairy tale walking around with all these red, orange and yellow leaves falling around me. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw your email.

Also, the excitement I feel when a Nuthatch or Long-tailed Tit visits the bird feeders at the Woods Mill bird hide. They’re so cute, and I could spend a lot of time there watching and waiting.

Caroline Pearce, Fundraising & Communications

The first wave of Snowdrops providing both a final reminder of winter's frost and heralding the approach of spring.

Snowdrops © Darin Smith
Snowdrops © Darin Smith

Lydia Baxter, Wilder Ouse

For me in winter it’s the beautiful frosty mornings. I love waking up and going outside all wrapped up and seeing the way the sun catches the frost on the grass and the leaves. Everything looks like it has little diamonds on and then you get the lovely orange golden glow of the winter sun catching those green frozen blades. It makes me think of being a child again and pretending that we were dragons as our breath condensed and we have our gloves on protecting our curious hands from the cold.

And another one that I love to see is a dew-spangled spiders web on a sunny, early morning walk. Occasionally when the sun is bright and low in the sky, I see the grass of a whole permanent pasture field covered in a lace of spider's silk, just magical!

Frosty Adur sunrise © Emma Varley
Frosty Adur sunrise © Emma Varley

Steve Webster, Land Management

Most recent was disturbing a Robin who had come to collect any crumbs from the volunteer's lunches in the shelter at West Dean Woods. It flew into a nearby Hazel, only about 10ft away, so I apologised for disturbing them, to which it replied....and we had quite a chat! Combination of whistles and birdsong. Also at home we have Foxes that visit most nights for a few sunflower hearts or dog biscuit. 

Sunset near Rye Harbour with a flock of Golden Plover © Barry Yates
Sunset near Rye Harbour with a flock of Golden Plover © Barry Yates

Barry Yates

A sunset often lifts my spirits, especially if it's cold and calm and the sound of the birds travels to me. 

Amanda Reeves, Communications

The flock of Sparrows (about 15 of them) who live in the hedge in my front garden flying into my back garden with seconds of my breaking the ice on the bird bath yesterday.

Henri Brocklebank, Conservation

I love the Japanese word Yugen, it describes in a word the moment that makes you slightly gasp and the pure beauty of a natural phenomenon. Sunlight through a forest, glistening dew on a mushroom etc..

Louise Colbran, Fundraising 

All of these made me smile this year: watching a Starling murmuration over Eastbourne pier, bees buzzing on our lavender, a Newt popping up to say hello in our pond, and the smell of the Bluebells in the local wood.

Bluebells © Graeme Lyons
Bluebells © Graeme Lyons

Mike Murphy, Communities

Showing a colleague the leaky dams on Chailey Common built by Sam Buckland, Chailey students and me over the last two winters. The Heather was deep with purple and pinks where the Silver Birch had been coppiced. The first leaky dam was hidden under a blanket of Water Mint, buzzing with bees and butterflies. The next was overrun with Fleabane and looking burnt orange in the sunshine and full of pollinators.

Leave a comment

Comments

  • Trina Miliam:

    Life is full of glimmers. You just have to learn to be a child again, with eyes and ears open to everything where even the smallest of things is wondrous and breathtaking.

    02 Jan 2024 11:10:00

  • Christine Dafter Volunteer:

    Sometimes on autumn and winter mornings , I am always in awe of the site of clouds, when sunshine above, in clear blue sky, is making the clouds a brilliant bright white below me as I come south, down the hill at Hand Cross Hill. It might be a cold clear day, but that scene never disappoints.

    02 Jan 2024 12:18:00

  • Ros Hodges:

    The colour the silver birch branches go in late winter, that gorgeous purply red that just lifts the greyess on a wet and windy day and positively shine with colour when the late afternoon sun catches them, we look out onto a birch filled valley and I just love them at any time of year but especially winter. Also hearing our Ravens cronkle and the local crow s answering with a harsh caw, that always makes me smile.

    02 Jan 2024 12:52:00

  • jane holbrook:

    Sparrows bathing in the bird bath. A sparrow hawk hovering on the wind, and the glistening of dew on the grass. There are so many fleeting moments to be treasured in the natural world. I concur with all that your officers mentioned and listening to the dawn chorus in Spring has to be one of my all time favourites, especially now my hearing is diminishing with age.

    02 Jan 2024 13:25:00

  • Laura Tyler:

    I recently moved to a flat with no garden, and was worried about how well I’d be able to access the outdoors and listen to the birds. I was pleasantly surprised when I not only heard crows and gulls, but I also heard a small flock of greenfinches right near my window as well as several sparrows as I was making lunch! It was not only a great moment emotionally, but it was assuring to know that although the outdoors may not be as readily available as before, nature is still close at hand and I can still listen to a fair variety of birds nearby.

    02 Jan 2024 14:47:00

  • Katie:

    Seeing the long-tailed tits in the hedgerow when I walk to the shop. Always make me smile.

    02 Jan 2024 15:35:00

  • Toni Hazle:

    All that glimmers!
    Wow,what a collection,worthy of keeping these ,to dip into on more difficult days and ‘lift the spirits.Thank you all .Toni. ….ps .will try and enclose my neighbours’ short surprise video (taken in September ’23) whilst walking the dog in the wood behind our houses.! Rutting Magic!

    02 Jan 2024 15:38:00

  • Adge Roberts:

    Some great pictures here. Thanks

    02 Jan 2024 16:14:00

  • Gail Greaves:

    Many thanks to all the contributors of ‘glimmers’ which our wonderful natural world provides; endless uplifting sights and sounds and scents all different and bringing a lift to the spirits. Nature is the best medicine!!

    02 Jan 2024 16:58:00

  • Karen Howling:

    I love a sunrise and sunset, but also seeing the mist hanging halfway up a hill top. Or driving/walking down a hill and seeing the clouds shrouding the valley below. Just lovely

    02 Jan 2024 17:03:00

  • Peter Wellby:

    HARVEST FESTIVAL

    Cycling, late and in haste,
    At a red light you stop me, impatient for amber.

    Scudding clouds slip from the sun.
    A second’s catch of breath, and glory floods the world:
    The leaves burn with a presence;
    The swirling tumult of the air pours on the earth;
    An autumn waterfall: gold, bronze and copper streams in the firmament.
    The great gold ginko casts Chinese fans, lavish as grace.
    Feathered maples ride the sky, like tangerine-vermilion angels’ wings.

    The trees’ dark trunks, cross branches, strip bare momently.

    My heart stalls in unworth.
    But the red berries splash the bushes with their scarlet drops,
    Bohemian-beaded bryony, hips, haws and holly,
    Ripe with redemption.

    02 Jan 2024 17:42:00

  • David Phillips:

    Have enjoyed the thrill of searching for, hearing and eventually seeing my first Sussex Waxwings for over a decade . Enjoyed in the company of other enthused and interested individuals. A wonderful visitation from some of the most photogenic and charismatic avian visitors. Ps can someone tell me how we can attach a photo to our “glimmer “?

    02 Jan 2024 18:03:00

  • Lynn:

    All beautiful, but why did I burst into tears at the sight of the snowdrops?

    06 Jan 2024 08:35:00

  • Valerie Richardson:

    I’ve loved reading your ‘glimmer’ experiences. Thank you. The hazel catkins can already be seen, Signs of spring bring hope for what is just around the corner.

    06 Jan 2024 16:46:00

  • Frances Parrish:

    Thank you for this, just now my glimmers are the long tailed tits making frequent visits to the bird feeders, but the descriptions of falling leaves also resonated.

    07 Jan 2024 22:03:00

  • Sarah Playforth:

    So many glimmers to choose from. After several weeks of colds and my dog being away temporarily, I’ve had to keep my walks shorter than usual. Yesterday I walked to a favourite ‘first walk’ spot, Splash Point, where an unusually low tide laid a lot of the beach bare. The glimmer came from seeing how the sea had done its work on some of the otherwise sharp edged blocks strewn over the area. The sea smoothed blocks looked so much more attractively part of the beach, to recognise the power of the waves was, not for the first time, a great glimmer.

    09 Jan 2024 12:03:00

  • Sarah Playforth:

    So many glimmers to choose from. After several weeks of colds and my dog being away temporarily, I’ve had to keep my walks shorter than usual. Yesterday I walked to a favourite ‘first walk’ spot, Splash Point, where an unusually low tide laid a lot of the beach bare. The glimmer came from seeing how the sea had done its work on some of the otherwise sharp edged blocks strewn over the area. The sea smoothed blocks looked so much more attractively part of the beach, to recognise the power of the waves was, not for the first time, a great glimmer.

    10 Jan 2024 10:01:00

  • Theresa Wainman:

    Really enjoyed reading all the things in nature that lifted people’s spirits and the lovely pictures that accompanied their comments.

    24 Jan 2024 11:20:00