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 ...
Welcome to Tales of Nature
Story of the month
- #074How the moon lost its tail (and the peregrine falcon)
- #073Why the SALTY SEA is so salty
- #072Witch's Broom. A party that got out of hand
- #071WATER FORGET-ME-NOT. The last words of a lovestruck knight
- #070PARSLEY, a forced collaboration
- #069Why the DANDELION was created on planet earth
- #068THE COCK, a tough and impressive boss
- #067REDWING, the long flight up North
- #065The GREEN SANDPIPER: Heaven isn't quite what it's made out to be
- #064The SNAIL. Home sweet home
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