Robin singing surrounded by blossom

Five minutes in nature: Tea break window watching

Museum Research Assistant Matt Hayes writes:

With many of us currently having to work from home, spending our days sitting and staring at screens, it is important to take breaks, get up and look to the outside world when we can.

Kitchen table set up as a home office
The new office

Since lockdown, the kitchen table has become my new office and I am very lucky to have a small garden, which the kitchen backs onto. This lets me view a little patch of nature through the window, even when I’m confined indoors.

If a piece of work is starting to frustrate me, or my eyes are tired from looking at my laptop, I try to remind myself to get up and clear my head. Something as simple as a five-minute tea or coffee break (or if I’m honest, usually the far superior hot chocolate break), looking out at the garden for any visiting wildlife, helps me to reset.

My housemate also recently purchased a special transparent bird feeder that sticks directly onto the window, bringing the birds in closer for us to see. A few days after setting it up we have had our first visitors, with robins and blue tits coming up to feed within a metre of where I sit.

Desk with mirror to watch out of the window
Mirror to see through the window behind

Between my housemate and I, the kitchen table can get a bit crowded, but a tiny mirror helps me to spot birds over my shoulder even if I’m facing the wrong way! The squirrels are also interested in the feeder but so far it seems out of reach. They currently prowl around beneath it, picking up loose seeds whilst they plan their next move…

Even if you don’t have a garden, I hope that spending time looking outside whilst we are all locked in can help your world feel a little larger.

Find more Five Minutes in Nature posts here.

Robin singing surrounded by blossom
Robin singing. (c) Kate Howlett

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