Lighting the way  by boxplayer

Lighting the way

To the composting toilet. The fireside in the background, at this evening's Singing with Nightingales adventure.

Was woken up bolt upright this morning at 4.15 by the dawn chorus - so loud, I thought they were singing on my pillow. You never hear anything like this in our street. I opened the door and gazed out at the noisy misty morning for a few moments before crawling back into bed.

Lovely breakfast brought up to us by our hosts of scrambled eggs and avocado on toast with pots of fresh tea and coffee - and unlike last year, it was warm enough to eat outside on the little balcony at the top of the steps eye level with a medlar tree, laughing at the silly chickens and admiring the house martins swooping in and out.

Easy drive home for a quick turnaround for the next adventure in our rather madcap weekend - an evening doing Sam Lee's Singing with Nightingales in a hidden location in Sussex. Packed up the tent, airbed, duvet, sleeping bags and other camping gubbins so that we could carry it all in one go as the car park was a way from the camp site.

Another beautiful day so it was a shame to spend most of it in the car but the journey to Sussex was trouble-free and we had to wait 10 mins in a quiet lane or be too early. Found the farm and the camping field, saying hello to our fellow campers - some we saw, enviously, in the glamping tents. We'd brought our old tiny Eurohike to save time and space. What had I been thinking as I remembered how I'd need to crawl into it. But it was quick and easy to put up and we had half an hour to chill before things started.

A magical evening - although spoiler alert - no nightingales sung for us, other than possibly a lone one briefly at the end. Possibly too late in the season or too windy, who knows. Started with drinks and chatting round the fire pits, a walk into the evening woodland to hear the evening chorus (thrushes, robins, wrens, blackbirds and cuckoos) and a scrumptious vegan dinner back at the fire - aubergine curry, dhal, rice and tamarind and date chutney. Plus cake to follow.

After songs and tunes from Sam and his Turkish saz player special guest, it was time for the main event. We walked in complete silence and darkness a way into the woodland in search of the nightingales (now critically endangered in the UK) who nest here in fair numbers. I was amazed how well I coped with walking in the dark, albeit with a bright half moon - though I was holding on to Dave. Arriving at a chosen spot, we lay on the ground watching the stars and listening to quiet singing (including from other guests, two women from an indigenous Ecuadorian tribe) and saz playing, but no nightingales appeared. One solitary song sounded just as we were leaving the field.

Back to the tent and a deflating airbed and a lot of faffing trying to get sort of tent bed ready including two trips to the composting toilet.

Good things - the outdoors and all things green and natural.

Into the woods

28 May 2023
Near Lewes, Sussex
A nice pic and description of your weekend.
May 29th, 2023  
I sleep with the window open and wake to a noisy chorus but manage to back to sleep.
May 29th, 2023  
Great photo and narrative
May 29th, 2023  
Living wild sounds lovely! Hope you have a decent mattress to lie in though….lucky with the weather!
May 29th, 2023  
I love the dawn chorus alarm moment
May 29th, 2023  
Nice composition and pov
May 30th, 2023  
Lovely shot!
May 30th, 2023  
Wonderful composition.
May 30th, 2023  
I like that lantern lighting the way
May 30th, 2023  
Lovely pov and dof.
May 30th, 2023  
Beautiful capture.
May 31st, 2023  
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