Sunday, 15 April 2012

Branches, Smoke & the Little Falcon

With the spring and the growing hours of daylight I find many of my walks begin during the warm light of evening. It seems many people await the height of summer before they realise the pleasures of an evening walk, so I take advantage of the spring and enjoy the solitude with the setting sun and the onset of twilight. Sitting within the bare branches of standing deadwood I looked upon the kestrel ahead of me, I would assume he too is enjoying the quiet spring evening without the rabble and rattle of families and walkers beneath his branches. He held is perch until I was almost beneath him then with a flutter of angular wings he sprinted across the air of a large woodland clearing to take his place in a new vantage point.

I passed through the clearing and into the woodland paths beyond as light began to fail. Looking through the encroaching gloom beneath the trees I noticed new forms among the lower trunks. My interest was sparked and I left the track to investigate, I found new shelters built by budding bushcrafters. These were impressive debris shelters. The first was a ridge pole set between two trunks. The ridge was set well of the ground and the walls well laden with branches and foliage to keep the breeze out of the structure. I glanced through the south facing door to see two tree trunks on the floor. They would serve well as seating or if crossed with sturdy branches they would make a bed clear of the woodland floor. It was only a short wander to the second shelter. This was even larger, it used four tree trunks to form the corners of a square plan. Hefty branches formed an eaves to the square shelter with branches laid both over the beams to form a roof and laid from the ground to the beams to form the walls. It appeared this shelter was not as complete as the first, but it would be easy to finish or repair to give cover from the wind for a group of friends.

With not trace of rubbish or manufactured materials around the structures I was impressed and carried along my way with a smile. I rounded a corner to head back to my car parked off a woodland road. Next to it I could see another vehicle and a figure walking around it. As I approached I could see the vehicle was modified in the usual garb of a boy racer and the figure next to it was a young lady chatting to the driver through the window. They seemed unaware or perhaps unconcerned by my approach. As I passed them by I was aware of the aroma of weed in the air and startled voices as they became fully aware of the presence of my dogs and I. It was only a moment before I was back into my car and away on the country lanes heading back for the hovel. It had indeed been an evening to appreciate and grant me the gift of amusement and enlightenment.


  1. Nice blog. I enjoy your perspective and find it refreshing. I love bushcraft too, having spent many years developing these skills. You can be sure I will be back.

  2. Thank you for visiting and commenting Bill, always a pleasure to know someone has enjoyed the blog and the welcome mat will be out for when you wander back this way :o)