“Would you be happy to call your relationship sustainable?”: birdwatching without trying in Australia.

As the sky over Phillip Island darkened a hush settled on the crowd. A ranger, speaking before the penguins emerged, gave me pause in my thinking. After acknowledging the original human inhabitants of this area – the Bunurong – he explained why the boardwalks and low fences were necessary. He also asked us to reflect on sustainability: wondering whether we’d be happy to describe our personal relationships as merely ‘Sustainable’.

Un coup d’oeil: a lucky walk by a mill

Going down to the mill is something we do every time we come here. It’s a short distance downhill from Rue de la Roche, where my parents-in-law live, to the town’s second river. When the water is low, as it usually is in August, the visit also includes a walk across the stepping stones and…

Edging into Kent

I started to wonder how far I should go, without a map or much water, but a trail leading out of town and into the fields is always hard to resist. After all, as Richard Jeffries notes in in Nature Near London, one should “Never omit to explore a footpath, for never was there a footpath yet which did not pass something of interest.”