Urban nature is integral to my sense of place.
I am a city dweller with a strong attraction to the natural world. I find that what helps me to enjoy my Port Melbourne urban environment is the way that nature enlivens the concrete and tarmac of our apartment buildings and roads. This urban nature can occur as a spontaneous event such as a huge black crow beside the road, sorting and gathering mulch for a nest. Or it can have a more structured form where we city dwellers intervene and create a piece of nature for ourselves, a park or a garden, to satisfy our need for contact with the natural world.
By contrast, the environment outside cities exerts its pull with the promise of wildness and expansiveness. Alpine environments, the desert, oceans and rivers and the countryside offer ‘Nature’ in different forms. Here, I am a visitor. I see with my outsider’s, city eye. I am not a botanist, not immersed in rural life and not an intrepid long distance wilderness walker.
However, I do see the world with a geographer’s training and an artist’s eye for detail. I write as an urban observer of nature in response to its pull on me and my need for it.