Autumnal Equinox

Autumnal Equinox

All Content By Oliver Mahoney 

Nothing says change and new beginnings like the continuous rumble of our natural world, and the view from my tent this month is one of moving skies. Summer is passing by, and Autumn is on the horizon.  

Last month, my hammock was stretched between two trees on Dartmoor, and I was enjoying the warm evenings of some of the sunny weeks we have all been enjoying. However, as the cooler and wetter weather starts to move in, I’ve started using my tent more and escaping the forest to see what the changing seasons can show me from up on the open moorland here in Devon. The Autumnal Equinox is fast approaching (23rd of September) and with it comes some beautiful changes to our weather and landscape which serve as constant reminders of the world’s uninterrupted activity.  

This change has become a key part of who we are as humans; we celebrate festivals that mark all parts of the changing seasons of the year and the Autumn Equinox brings a special set of new beginnings… Harvest! Crops and produce usually abound at this time of the year, traditionally marking great prosperity among agrarian communities. From my standpoint, looking out at the mid-year sunrise from my tent on Dartmoor, it’s easy to imagine the farmers of the Early Medieval period celebrating and feasting together as the land provided rewards of harvest for their hard work over the summer months.  

The moorland is now mostly abandoned but was once teeming with ancient life and changing civilisations across the centuries, however, it still delivers at this time of year with stunning views across the moody undulations of tors, forest, and grassland. Throughout the ages, the moors have come to reward us in a different way during the Autumnal Equinox (see photos) – with beautiful views. There’s an almost perfect easterly sunrise, so why not get yourself out for an early morning walk or even camp up onto one of the Tors on Dartmoor this Autumn and enjoy it for yourself.  

Along the way, you can visit stone circlescairns and kistvaens (ancient burial tombs); some of the remnants of the civilisations as old as the Bronze Age where people just like us made their living from the life-giving energy at this beautiful and changing time of year in this remarkable, historically rich part of the UK. Make a new part of the outdoors your new beginning this Equinox. 

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