The word ‘sanctuary’ has a long list of meanings if you look it up in a dictionary, but the overarching idea is that it means a place that is sacred, whether you mean that in a religious way or not. It is a place where you can take refuge and be safe. You can also think of it as an activity rather than a place, where you can find sanctuary in doing something that makes you feel safe and calm, away from things that are not safe and not calm.
As you’ll know if you are a regular reader, I find sanctuary in nature, in particular at Cors Caron, a nature reserve not far from where I live. As I walk around the boardwalk looking at the creatures that live there, and soaking up the view across the bogland, it is special, and it is sacred to me.
A nature reserve, in itself, is a sanctuary for the inhabitants as well as the visitors. At Cors Caron I can see creatures I would never see in my garden or around my village. They are safe there, living in the perfect habitat for them, not competing with humans for space, and being treated with care and respect.
For example, lizards. In the UK, lizards are not something you see every day. Most people would never see one unless they went to a zoo or had one for a pet. We do have a couple of different types of lizard though – the Common Lizard, and the Sand Lizard. There is also the Slowworm which is a lizard without legs, not a snake – odd, I know! At Cors Caron, if you are lucky, you can see Common Lizards. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them but when my daughter and I went for a walk there on Thursday they were out and about in abundance.
There were many more that disappeared between the slats on the boardwalk as well! It was the first time my daughter had seen them so I was extra delighted.
Other creatures who take sanctuary at Cors Caron are the many, many Dragonflies and Damselflies. There are some that I can see quite easily around the pond in the village, but some that I only see at Cors Caron. For example the Black Darters. I have never seen these anywhere else. To be honest I’m not exactly well travelled so they may well be very common elsewhere, but for me, if I want to see a Black Darter I would go to Cors Caron.
The males are the only ones that are actually black (mostly):
The females (and immature males) are much more about yellow and orange, with a hint of black.
I only see Emerald Damselflies at Cors Caron too.
There are butterflies as well, that I only see at Cors Caron. If you’ve been a reader for a while you might remember the Green Hairstreak butterflies that I can find at the same spot at Cors Caron year after year. Sadly I missed them this year due to lock-down, but hopefully I’ll see them again next year.
Once upon a time (back in 2013) I even saw an Adder at Cors Caron, my one and only encounter with a snake in the wild!
Cors Caron is a sanctuary in many senses of the word, and I hope I have shared a little of why it is sacred to me 🙂
Inspired by the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Sanctuary.