Challenging Habitat Blog

I treasure the stillness and stark silhouettes of (slightly) drizzly autumn walks that offer the odd glint of sunrays and opening of blue sky.

Working from home during lockdown saves me and my carbon footprint a daily 1.5 h commute and I have more flexibility with when and how I start my day.

Some mornings just beckon a walk along the river! And today, I was rewarded with the magic sparkle of a light frost on bluebells and mist over the water.

The light is beautiful.

I seize the moment and extend my morning outing with my dog to a walk along the river.

I am rewarded by the touch of morning sun on my face and two owls calling in the ancient woodland on the Devon bank.

A snipe flits off, startled.

Happiness comes from feeling gratitude for the moments of connecting with nature.

I smile.

Almost like a watercolour painting.

Only better: it’s real.

A little farther than strictly local, I stretched my range a little beyond 7 miles to enjoy a good walk along the Cornish coast.

Blackthorn like a bridal wreath

Beautiful, uplifting, entertaining and even more so because I enjoyed this scene with a friend and our dogs.

The violets are out today,

perhaps to greet all who nurture (it is mother’s day in the UK),

perhaps to delight those who stop and notice,

and certainly to just be.

Sometimes it is simply necessary to have a big horizon.

Even, or more accurately, especially during lockdown.

10 miles on the Tamar estuary with my paddle board…

…a great way of spending a sunny spring Sunday!

Lots to see, including otter footprints in the mud, the ochreous outflow of a mine adit and the overgrown scenery of the upper reaches.

Sometimes my daily walk in nature is spoilt by my mind not letting go.

Thoughts are occupying it like wire wool: persistent and abrasive.

It happens when I allow (perceived) urgency to take precedence over importance.

What I mean is this:

My walk in nature is important for my wellbeing, it is a time to relax, exercise and fill my lungs with fresh air, have fun games with my dog, see, smell, hear, feel and simply be, here and now.

When I allow the wire wool to tumble around in my mind, I have lost what’s important in this moment. Instead, I am caught up in work(overload) or a futile frustration about something I can’t change anyway

… you know the sort of thing that keeps you awake at 3 am sometime …

Today was such a day. Something so apparently urgent spun around in my head that I wasted most of my precious time outside. Blind to my surroundings, unaware of myself.

Until a flash of colour caught my eye: a fungi reaching out to me from among the dead leaves.

It brought me right back and with a smile on my face I remembered what was important in that moment.

Reflecting on this, the ‘urgency versus importance’ conflict may be a useful consideration in other contexts, too.

Could the simple question whether something is important, urgent or both, provide clarity for decision making in work, play and relationships?

(…and whose urgency is it anyway?)

So lovely to see wild ponies on the moor, interacting naturally!

One day social distancing will be a thing of the past for us, too!

Strictly socially distanced by length of paddles and exercise on the water can be a very enjoyable event.

It’s almost a mini-adventure!

It’s good for my spirit to be near (or on) the sea.

The horizon, the sound, the smell and the breeze!

…and things to discover…

Two crocus flowers are all that’s left in the back garden, the rest eaten by pheasants.

On one of them, I spotted my first bumblebee this year, and looking closely I can see what it was after!

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