Stats – Day 17
Activity: Early morning walks
Wild Location: Cambridge and Somersham
Time of Day: Early morning
Length of Activity: Couple of hours
Weather: Started off sunny and bright, but fresh; finished dull, cloudy and a little breezy
Rise With The Sun
Well, actually I rose before the sun. About 1:30am in fact. That’s because in the University of Cambridge calendar, its “May Week” – yes I know its actually during June. During May Week, a nearly all of the colleges host a “May Ball” or “June Event”. May Balls are normally longer (finishing 5, 6 or even 7am in the morning) than June Events (finishing about 3 in the morning), but both aim to allow the students to celebrate the completion of another academic year. Google it if you’re interested. (Also, I don’t know why they’re called May balls and not June balls, I guess google might help).
Anyway, the reason I had to get up at 1:30am this morning was because I was playing a gig at one of the balls with the Cambridge University Ceilidh Band (aka. CUCB – I joined the band during my undergrad, and just haven’t left). I had to arrive for the gig at 3:30am, ready to play from 4:20 till 5:20am. And yes, we get plenty of people dancing at this ceilidh! (Oh yes, if you’re interested in what a ceilidh is, I suggest you google that too – basically a folk dance where someone tells you what to do, the band plays folk music and you gallop, polka, swing, spin and dance the night away – they’re awesome!). I’ve got 3 of these gigs at very early in the morning this week.
Anyway, the reason I’m telling you all this, is because I decided to tie the fact that I had to be up early to play a gig to do an early morning 30 Days Wild activity (I’m not very good at getting out of bed in the mornings). I was intending to watch the sun rise, but it turned out I was playing my recorder at that exact moment so I couldn’t get a photo. However, I left the college I was playing at, and the sunlight was making everything look so beautiful on the Cam:
As we were driving home, I snapped a few pictures of the fens in the hazy morning light:
When we got home, I decided that I just had to pop across to the lake to discover what wildlife was about at this time of morning and what exciting things might be going on – it was just too lovely!
When I arrived there was a sleepy feel in the air, all the water birds were sleepy and seemed to be grumpy with the songbirds for flitting around and singing away (it was lovely to listen to!). I have to say, its the first time I’ve since a mallard do a wonderful imitation of a human yawn! You can just hear this fast growing gosling saying “I don’t want to get up yet, its too early, let me go back to sleep”. Even the snail looked sleepy on his leaf.
While some of the mallards and the geese were struggling to get out of bed, there were many other birds and insects in feverish activity. The air was full of insects (you can see them in one of the photos!), and many birds were singing – a dunnock, a reed warbler, robins, wrens, blackbirds, sparrows; the tufted ducks were making a lot of noise quacking; the great crested grebe was out fishing and even the pigeons and doves were waking up and thinking about breakfast. (I do recommend that you enlarge these photos by clicking on them – and any others on this page!).
How It Made Me Feel
It was magical to be out when all the wildlife is feverishly starting the day or waking up more slowly. I had a lovely morning, and hopefully I can repeat it again tomorrow after my final early morning gig for the week!