Have we forgotten the simple pleasures of waking up when the sunrises. Of listening to the dawn chorus or a single cuckoo call the first signs of spring. The sun warming our bones, listening to the wind as it massages through our hair.
We forget the names of flowers, of mouse ear and speedwell that fill our meadows with life as we trample them underfoot. We sit blind as the seasons pass us by.
The thing I love most about microadventures is that they are so easy to have and can involve just about anything. I decided that as microadventures are so accessible that they count as one… three of my 30 Days Wild Challenge. For me they’re nothing more than a weekend long trip to my local wilderness area that just so happens to be Dartmoor National Park. I must admit that I was a little lazy for this one, in the nature of accessibility of course, and travelled less than 3km a day and ascended no more than 100m as I was focusing on this being an experience to reconnect with nature rather than an endurance exercise.
Although my initial intention was to camp in an enclosure cairn next to Down Tor stone row, we diverted route after spotting a number of highly camouflaged trampolines adjacent to our intended location and set our sights on the nearby Combeshead Tor. We sat whispering and watching as the sunset over our camp, imagining what this land once was and what it will be before retiring to sleep comfortably.
The strangest thing about the next morning was not waking up to bright sun in my eyes penetrating the tent walls but the continuous, monotonous but not necessarily unwelcomed cooing of a Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus).
This was to be the first of my week in wildlife encounters for ever day since I have had the fortune of spotting a couple of finds of the winged variety including a European Jay (Garrulus glandarius), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), and Duke of Burgundy (Hamearis lucina).
The best experience I had whilst walking back to the car on Sunday afternoon was spending the time watching out for wild flowers using my wildflower guide to identify new species, I found eyebrights (Euphrasia officinalis), tormentil (Potentilla erecta) and field mouse-ear (Cerastium fontanum).
I’m hoping to head out again this weekend for another microadventure!