Have you ever found yourself marveling at the calm that washes over you when you’re in the middle of nature? Think about the rustle of leaves in a quiet forest, the feel of grass underfoot in a meadow, or the quiet solitude of a country lane. There’s a simple joy in these moments that many of us seek to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Taking time to reconnect with the earth isn’t just enjoyable—it’s beneficial for our mental health. It’s the reason why some people make sure to spend time in nature as part of their regular routine. It keeps them sane and balanced in a fast-paced world.
On these adventures, there’s an element of surprise, too, because nature has a way of presenting unexpected sights and encounters.
Take Kym Beechey, for instance, an Australian who loves to explore the great outdoors. With her camera in hand, Kym hunts for beautiful scenes to capture, despite the challenge of photographing the shy wildlife she often comes across.
During one of her walks, Kym spotted what she thought was a tiny tawny frogmouth, a bird that looks a lot like an owl, with what seemed to be a cheerful grin. With excitement, she took out her phone, eager to take a close-up of the grinning bird.
But, what she thought was a bird turned out to be a playful trick of nature: it was a banksia pod, not a bird at all. These peculiar pods grow on banksia trees and have quite a quirky look, especially when they resemble something else, like a bird.
The photograph Kym took that day is shown below, where you can see the pod’s distinctive features for yourself.
Banksia trees are native to the southwestern part of Australia, but they can also be found dotting the landscapes of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Unlike pine trees, banksia trees have pods that are often likened to pine cones because of their shape and texture. What makes these pods stand out is how they burst open, usually during the intense heat of a bushfire, to release their seeds into the world.
Kym couldn’t help but chuckle when she realized her supposed “baby bird” was actually a plant. Now, she has a remarkable photograph to add to her collection of nature’s wonders.
It’s amazing, isn’t it, how much there is to discover out there? Sometimes what we see isn’t what we expect, and sometimes, the most ordinary walks can turn into memorable stories. This tale of a mistaken identity in the wild reminds us of the delightful surprises nature has in store.
If you haven’t heard of banksia trees before, don’t worry—you’re not alone. It’s one of the many hidden treasures waiting for us in the natural world, just beyond our front doors. It’s a discovery that invites us to look a little closer and enjoy the unpredictable beauty of our planet. So, the next time you’re out for a walk, keep your eyes peeled—you never know what you might find!