Photocise: Why I'm doing it

Hedgerow in the evening

Hedgerow in the evening

It's been a few months since my last Photocise walk. No, Photocise isn't some new crazy exercise fad, Zumba's booty shaking crown is safe for now at least. Photocise is simply walking, mild exercise, and taking photos as you go along. I know what you are thinking - ''Saurus you pillock, that's a PhotoWalk surely?" But there's more to it than just taking photos. 

Benefits:

 It helps clears the mind and re-focus on what's important

It reconnects you with nature and your surroundings.

It combats the  sedentary behaviour that blogging  can often lead to. Sedentary behaviour is doing activities that use very little or no energy, like sitting at a computer. Sedentary behaviour is a huge health risk, more so than physical inactivity and can lead to you putting yourself at risk of some of the nasties like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.

Photocise can challenge you as a photographer. You might not think of yourself as a photographer, but it you take photos for yourself or your blog then yup, you are a photographer.  Walking somewhere familiar or 'un fancy' you will need to look closely, try to find angles and small details to photograph. So many of us bloggers strive to improve our photo styling for our blogs but stripping things back to the basics of trying to make the things around you look the nicest you can make them,  without help from props and the like,  can be a good thing. 

And of course getting active without the need for lycra is always a bonus...

Found in the hedgerow

Found in the hedgerow

Here's my Photocise from yesterday:

I took Kitty and Ozzy with me after school, setting them the challenge to look for unusual, pretty or interesting things, after all 3 pairs of eyes are better than one. We saw Blackberry bush blossom, flowers, thorns, a mare with her foal, pathways, butterflies and 84 caterpillars (no more, no less).

Wildflowers

Wildflowers

Wildflowers

Wildflowers

Blackberry blossom

Blackberry blossom

There was much excitement surrounding the blackberry flowers, a non-stop stream of culinary ideas from Kitty, pies, tarts,crumbles, ice-cream, jam. Photocise doesn't have to be a silent and reflective thing, it can be a loud affair, conversations, plan making, crumbles in this case. It's nice to make plans with your children, however simple.

Oscar spotted the caterpillars first and before I knew it the counting had begun. Kitty set us all a challenge, to find out which type of butterfly these caterpillars turn into. Having read 'Caterpillar Butterfly' by Vivian French last night (which is a lovely book by the way), they are keen to know what these striped ones will become.

A quick Google revealed they are Cinnabar Moths, a common black and red coloured moth. Their favourite plant is ragwort which happens to be exactly where we found them en masse. We also read that Cinnabar Moth numbers have fallen by 83% in the past 35 years, likely due the control of ragwort.

Cinnabar Moths

Cinnabar Moths

Cinnabar Moths

Cinnabar Moths

Cinnabar Moths

Cinnabar Moths

Gorse

Gorse

A final discovery of a whole area which was carpeted in lichen was a joy to find, Oz took a hat full home to scatter about the garden, sweet boy.

We returned from our walk smiling. Ozzy proudly showing off his 'new lichen collection', Kitty full of takes of caterpillars and all the little stresses and niggles from the day had lifted from my shoulders. I'll be sharing more Photocise time over the next few weeks as I have some serious reconnecting with the outdoors to do.

A couple of days ago I read the post 'Surviving Burnout' over at Slugs on the Refrigerator and it stirred something in me (how I love the reactive nature of blogging).  No more making excuses about not having enough time to go out for a walk - it's probably the single most beneficial thing for a positive state of mind for me. I can't afford not to go out and enjoy nature more. I'm about to sit down and re-do my weekly planner and schedule work around walks - rather than vice versa, it's more important to me to be healthy and happy than churning out blog posts and making a little bit of money (that inevitably I'll end up re-investing in blogging things).

If you do decide to join me and embrace a little Photocise and happen to write about it on your blog do tweet me @anniespratt or email me at hello@anniespratt.com and I'll link to it from a future Photocise post of mine.