Welcome to Tales of Nature

Story of the month

APPLE TREE - Eat yourself young!

From the time of the Hesperides in Ancient Greece up until the era of Snow White’s stepmother, the apple has been one of the most important fruits figuring in myths, legends and fairy tales. It is always pictured in a positive light. Could this be due to the apple having a healthy image because of its being rich in vitamins? And could that image lie behind the myth of it giving eternal youth? Whatever the case, Hercules was not the only one looking for the magic apples. Read on: Once upon ...

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Nature stories, myths and legends about plants and animals have been told for many centuries and sometimes even date back thousands of years. They are ‘living stories’, by which is meant that they alter in the course of time, because they are modified by the predominating culture and by the storyteller’s preferences.

A plant or animal comes far more to life for many people, young and old, when it figures in a story or an anecdote. A good nature story ensures that they are instilled with a sense of wonder; they look and listen more carefully. So when they see a skylark, they will think about the story of why it sings as it flies through the sky. Or during a walk in the woods they will remember why the oak keeps its leaves in winter. Each month a story appears on this site about a plant, animal, bird, insect or tree from Western Europe.

In 2003 this nature story site was started in The Netherlands for the benefit of nature guides wanting to take groups of people on nature excursions. In 2008 the translation of the stories into German and French were added, followed by English in 2009.

Click on the menu above to access the other stories or background information.


Everyone is welcome to use the stories for nature excursions or courses. For publication purposes prior permission must be requested.

© text and photos: Els Baars, unless otherwise indicated. e-mail

English translation: Sarah Hopman-Edge

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