30 Days Wild – Day 5

For Day 5 of 30 Days Wild, I walked out to a local National Nature REserve (NNR) called Muston Meadows to watch the sun go down. As I spend much of the summer doing bat surveys, I do get to see my fair share of sunrises and sunsets but the focus is always on the roost rather than the scenery, watching for the black flit of an emerging bat against a dark sky. It was nice to take an opportunity to watch the sunset on my own terms, so after a beautiful blue-sky day, I headed out to spend the last hour amongst a flower-rich meadow.

Green-winged orchid at Muston Meadows

It always seems a shame to me that we focus our time to the centre of the day – with sunrise at 4:45am at the moment, many people sleep through the first 3-4 hours of daylight, but those hours between daytime and night have a special quality and character all of their own.

Common blue butterfly settling down for the night on the flower of a grass called crested dog’s tail. I watched the butterfly flit between a few stalks before settling for good on this one – each time if would land, and then turn itself to face downwards as in this photo.

As the sun reached the horizon, it was noticable how much of a chill suddenly came into the air. Spending a little time in one place lets you experience the shifts in conditions which occur over time, in a way which individual visits rarely will.


Meadow flowers and grasses sillouetted against a sunset sky – this shot includes meadow buttercup and sorrel amongst others

As the sun finally dropped below the horizon, I walked back through the meadow to the stile which led back to the track, and then into the nearby village of Muston. Hares posed along the bridleway before darting off into the fields made a perfect end to the visit!

Meadow buttercup