Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

Autumn reflections

30th August 2018

There have been a few nights this week that possessed the chill of autumn and some trees already are losing their spring and summer colouring. In fact, I picked two early conkers on a walk this evening. Meteorologists may prefer us to wait until the start of September but I always wonder if autumn really starts in the middle of August. Some I overheard talking about turning on their heating may not disagree with me so strongly.

It is strange how we assign the summer months because when it comes to hours of daylight, August in some ways is a mirror image of April. The main difference generally is the residual heat remaining after June and July, something that can hold until the start of November. This past summer has been exceptional so it is not that the school year starts after a break without its share of sunshine even if August came damp.

For whatever reason, I can get ideas about fresh restarts around this time. It might be that there is a lull during September or the start of those school, college and university years but my mind can fill with possibilities while bemoaning that such things often are stymied by a decline in energy coinciding with growing hours of darkness. It often feels like a brief burst of energy before other things take hold.

The latter has me wondering about a midwinter getaway since I did not have an overseas trip this summer because of other concerns. This line of thought also emerged two years ago and there was a trip to Mallorca with some walking that in on my radar for a forthcoming trip report. Other possibilities will be assessed and enough time allowed so as not to have 2019 began like 2017 when a heavy cold weighed me down.

2018 has been a busy year for me with a move into self-employment taking up the summer months and a series of property maintenance tasks in Ireland that were planned during the career break that I began in August 2017. The last part of 2016 came busy with Irish matters so that might not have helped the start of the next year either. As I look to the rest of this year, I hope that work will remain steady enough for me to focus on other things like getting out and about in any good weather that comes. Life has become an adventure again and that blows away any staleness that once may have beset me.

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