An early morning trip to the forest

Over recent weeks I have been spending a lot of time in the forest. Much of that is during the hours of darkness, but one day last week was out early in the morning around 4am.

Earliy Morning near Hamsterley

I love the forest at night as a whole different eco-system seems to take over. You see and hear things you don’t during the day. However, for me, that final hour before daylight has now become the key time that is grabbing my attention. Very early in the morning.

The transition of dark to light triggers a whole load of movement around the the forest. Nocturnal animals are moving, trying to find somewhere to hide for the daylight hours. The sounds of the songbirds are quite spectacular as they awake and greet the day. Deer can often be seen skipping along the trails or through the trees after a night of foraging for food.

Early morning approach to Hamsterley

The forest itself is owned by the Forestry Commission so there are rules that have to be respected if you go in. However, most of them can be regarded as simply sensible safety precautions so it is not too much of a problem.

Walking through the forest I found what looked like a small cave. It is in a rocky outcrop on the opposite side of a stream from the trail I was on. It did look as though it would provide good shelter from the elements, but I could not really determine if it went into the hillside for any great depth. I suspect not, otherwise the rangers would have blocked the entrance to prevent people going in there.

Other than seeing a couple of deer and listening to the birds sing, I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary that morning, however I did return home feeling invigorated. A feeling I always get after spending time in the forest.