Full moon at last and another night under the stars. Massimo found an excellent one man tent for 39 euros!!. So we risked it and we’ve both bought one. It weighs one and a half kilos so is easily packable and it’s a nice neutral shade of green so not too visible and it seems generally well thought out. The last one man tent I slept in you got into with difficulty through the top end but with this one the whole side opens which means like last night you can sleep covered but still enjoy a wide field of view. It’ll make a change from a hammock.
A month or two ago I cut a terrace at the top of the top field next to the stone wall just big enough for a two man tent so the howler can play in the old tent which is so old the flysheet has disintegrated. But this also means that once a month I can sleep out on a flat level surface too. I think hammocks are great and there’s a distinct advantage in that the animals usually ignore your presence but a tent is something different and though it’s not as comfortable lying on a mat in a tent as it is lying in a hammock there’s a lot to be said for having space to turn over or put a book down or get your shoes off.
The owls were out again shouting the odds at each other and there was an out of season cicada zeeping near my head and something scuttling in the wall behind me. But nothing else happened of note. The sky was really beautiful though and the stars bright despite the cold round moon. As I pitched the tent at right angles to how I normally pitch the hammock I got a whole new view on things. Falling asleep looking into the vast emptiness between my side of the valley and the other side of the valley really makes me want to take up paracending or hang gliding. It’s so empty. Wow. Sometimes watching the ravens, especially at the is time of the year when they are so boisterous, you get the feeling that they enjoy space and they make the most of it rolling and banking, flying upside down honking and, the most fun to watch, flying up almost vertically and stalling in mid air and allowing themselves to drop, often for quite a distance before taking control of the situation. They always seem to do more acrobatics whilst heading into the wider tracts of nothingness. They zoom along at treetop level and then just glide out into the middle of the valley. One lot I watched with the binoculars last year went back and forth several times seemingly just for the hell of it.
Funnily this morning, even though it was two degrees above zero was decidedly chilly. I can’t figure out why. There was a wind and it was a lot more humid than usual but even so. So tonight I’m going to try to put a different sleeping mat under me because I get the feeling the one I’m using doesn’t insulate that much. It’s a very low tent and when it’s all closed up somewhat like sleeping in a coffin but as I slept with the door open I suppose it was like sleeping out. It’s very low, which will be good in the wind but carries the extra advantage that without getting out of my sleeping bag I can pop my head out and look over the tent. I spent a while last night craning my neck to get a look at the badger or the boar that was grubbing about in the leaves along the edge of the wood only to have it turn into a my dog who then decided she wanted to get into the tent with me. In the end she snorted with disgust and loped off back to her own bed. I’m very happy with the tent.