Our landscapes are full of navigational clues. You don’t need a compass to know which way is north. You don’t even need the sun to be shining.
If the sky is full of cloud you can still work out which way is north if you know what to look for. You can get clues from the weather, plants and animals, even a city landscape. Of course, if you are in a city it is easier to just ask someone the way, which is why the tell-tale signs just pass us by.
Here’s a common example.
Suppose you find a tree trunk with moss only on one side. Moss grows best in damp conditions so is likely to be on the north side of the tree, as this is the side that is in shade at the warmest part of the day.
Natural navigation is such a huge topic that I’m going to send you to the expert. I recommend that you check out Tristan Gooley’s website and books. Even if you are not going navigating, you’ll have an added dimension to nature study.