Backyard Camping Season Draws To A Close

A post from Tom:

As Lyanda has described before, for the third year in a row we’ve had our enormous family tent pitched in the back yard and slept out there most nights. I’ve probably slept in my indoor bed no more than half a dozen times since the fourth of July. Sadly, this weekend we moved back inside.

It’s been cosy on our air mattresses, piled high with quilted sleeping bags. We sleep in the comforting sound field of our small backyard waterfall, the air is cool, and the stars are visible through the mesh top of the tent, between the leaves of the cherry tree.

I love it out there, and even though the rains are starting, I’ve actually been enjoying it even more as the air has turned crisp, the days gotten shorter, and we’ve piled our tent nest higher with blankets. Still, with nighttime temperatures dropping and rain falling, it’s time to come in, enjoy the flannel sheets on our futon, and start going to bed with hot fleece rice bags at our feet.

After three months, the tent had quite an impact on our tiny little patch of lawn (of which it covers about one third). For some reason the moss was not as affected by the lack of light, and took the opportunity to spread as the grass died. I raked up the moss and gave it to the chickens, who were overjoyed.

Meanwhile, adding to the list of backyard wildlife that gallivants around us as we slumber, I discovered that a mole was also quite fond of the protection the tent offered, and had created extensive burrows under there. This hole was located directly under my side of the bed! (I’m looking forward to a whole chapter on these blind backyard burrowers in Lyanda’s upcoming book on urban wildlife.)

I re-seeded the tent-killed patch of the lawn and even took the opportunity to flatten out that area a little more, hoping to finally solve the issue of Claire sliding across the tent towards us in the night. But maybe I should have just covered that area with wood chips, or pea gravel. Because next summer, as soon as the weather turns, we’re putting up the tent again!


  1. It happened to me last night while camping in France. I kept hearing vibrating, tunnelling noises under my ear that sounded like something was trying to get into our tent. We unpegged the back of the tent this morning and low and behold there was a lovely little mole hole!

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