I’ve been walking the dog in full dark, thanks to changes to my pre-work routine. Whilst I can’t see the nature around me, my engagement with it has increased.

Photo: Amritanshu Sikdar on Unsplash; Graphics: author

The traffic is bad; gone are the days of lockdown 1’s deserted roads. But, in the lull between lorries, there is still birdsong. Initially, I couldn’t identify the birds, but with the use of BirdNET, I now recognise their calls. There is where the robin hangs out, there the song thrush.

This morning, we had a full moon, and if I waited long enough I could distinguish bird shapes amongst bare branches. The dog hates waiting but leashed he has no choice.

I try to make certain activities more intentional: mindful meals, waiting time and, yes, dog walks. In the daylight, off his lead, the dog demands my full attention. In the dark, I can just enjoy being under the trees.