I need a very quiet environment in order to focus and think deeply. While some people can think with a lot of background noise, I need complete silence. Sometimes listening to classical or jazz music helps me get into a work zone. I would say that I am a pretty observant person, maybe not as much as Leopold. Using the 5 senses is an obvious tool when observing something. Leopold uses every sense in order to truly absorb everything that is occurring around him, such as when he watches the birds from his porch.
On a perfectly sunny day last week I decide to go sit with me tree and observe everything around me using my 5 senses (maybe not taste). Due to the loudness of the traffic on High street it has difficult to hear clearly. But I did hear a lot of the buzzing of bees and wind blowing through the leaves and branches. My tree felt very rough to the touch due to the bark. The leaves felt like any other leaf. I examined the one green side and the silvery color of the other side. I see squirrels climbing the tree, bouncing of branches in search for nuts. Some of them looked like they were actually playing with each other.
I feel like this is a great place to come and think. Although it seems difficult to collect quantitative data from this perspective. I think that you can observe people passing by and the overall setting using a qualitative approach.