Television isn’t my favorite pastime. I am guilty of tuning into our local channel on Tuesday nights to watch NCIS, but other than that, there just isn’t much I care to watch. Which is a shame, because with our cable, we get over a hundred channels. If it weren’t for the Country Boy and his outdoor shows, I would probably cancel my subscription. But there are times when I do sit, enamored, with another ‘network’. We call it NatureVision.


Come See!

I had already gone to bed a couple of nights ago when the Country Boy came in the room. He urged me to get up and ‘see’ something. It turned out he had tuned in to one of the NatureVision ‘channels’, and we sat and watched a glorious show. It was dark, and the sky above us showed scattered clouds with a few breaks for stars to twinkle.

But around 60 miles out in the North sky there was a huge ball of clouds that were intermittently flashing with lightning. There is something awe inspiring about seeing dark clouds against a black background suddenly turning yellow and gold from a light show. There were tenuous shimmers of white. Rich blasts of silver. A blend of colors in a horizontal streak of electricity. For fifteen or twenty minutes, we just sat and watched. It was the best show I have seen in quite a while.



24/7 Programming

NatureVision doesn’t just show night time programs. I love the early shows – a sky that fades from deep dark with a sprinkling of silver flickers to rich corals, deep purples and sparkly golds that would put any piece of jewelry to shame. These colors fade even more and leaves us with a brilliant blue broken only by the occasional white.



Creative Viewing

The Cloud show is also one of my favorites. I love to just sit on the back steps and let my imagination run wild. That one looks like a dog. That one looks like a smiling face. As I sat there watching the other day, a large cloud drifted from behind the trees, and I was amazed. It was in the shape of an angel – wings folding together behind its back, tips sharply pointed. The body was clearly defined, and the side profile of the face had hands folded underneath the chin, as if in prayer.

Too many people find that television is their drug of choice. Instead of spending time doing productive things, they can spend hours watching programs that are inane, silly, or just plain don’t make sense to me. Some programs I have caught a glimpse of encourage emotions and attitudes that can be harmful to self and others. But NatureVision…



I admit to struggling with the desire to do nothing but sit and watch the wonderful programs that are showing. Each day offers a different episode, and rarely are two the same. From seeing the contrast of black and brown cows against a sea of green grass; a burst of purple and yellow wild flowers in the pasture, or seeing the flash of brilliance in the color of a bright blue bird perched on the edge of the bell, NatureVision is my ‘televised’ drug of choice. It can be so addictive, I find myself stopping in the midst of my work to just stop and watch and listen.



Watching NatureVision is one of the basic tenets of living a Simple Life. Instead of mind-numbing, it broadens your appreciation for life. Maybe it’s time we all turn the television off and tune in to a different program. Observe with your eyes and heart. Step outside at sunset and enjoy the brilliance of the evening sky. Take a walk after a late afternoon rainstorm and admire the yellow cast to the air. Television just cannot offer a better program to watch. Even the reruns are entertaining!

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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