I'm fortunate enough to live on the border of a commercial/residential area that has lots of sidewalks and room to walk around. My apartment buildings are old (for Texas, anyway) having been built in the 40's, and are surrounded by a mixture of older homes, and newer apartments as well as a few miscellaneous structures. During the day, it looks like just another upper-middle class neighborhood (though we're incredibly blessed with an abundance of trees) but in the early evening, when the shadows lengthen and night falls, it becomes a whole other world, one that I've begun to explore.
I've always loved the night, and watching the Moon shining down from above, and can remember being a small child and feeling like a Witch every time I danced around under the stars. These evening strolls I've started taking reawaken that feeling of intense, spontaneous magic (a feeling I though I'd lost forever) as well as giving me a chance to practice identifying the various trees and plants I come across. On my street alone, I've identified Oak (both red and white,) Ash, Elm, Holly, Birch, Maple, and even something I suspected might be a Hawthorn. As I've posted about previously, I love the magic of woods and trees, and anything to do with the plant kingdom. Also, as the sun sets I can catch glimpses of various interesting animals and birds, setting off to do whatever it is they do in the dark. I've not seen any bats yet, but I know they have to be there, too; you can often see then flittering above the tops of trees if you look hard enough.
As the sun sets more, the entire scenery seems to change. My street is really quite dark, and the windows that have light behind them shine forth like beacons in the gathering blackness, leaving me to wonder what's going on behind their shuttered panes. Long shadows fall over the grass, and the trees begin to look like large black masses hovering overhead. I sort of get an eerie, otherworldly feeling that's not exactly frightening, but is very "Witchy" and leaves me with the impression that any number of odd, magical things might happen. As the stars come out, I stare up into the sky, past the tops of the tall trees, and imagine what it might be like to take flight (on a broomstick?) and sail high above the streets, looking down upon everything below me. When it becomes really pitch black, I head home, but the otherworldly feeling lingers with me for some time, and I often conclude by doing a work of magic or meditation.
This is one step of my plan to become less bookish and more spontaneous in my Witchcraft, and so far, so good. I sort of feel like I might have over-educated myself, from a magical theory perspective, and I want to regain some of that sense of wonder and freedom I had as a young, young Witch, before I had any books or tools or anything. Ideally, I would like to find a balance between following tradition, and using my own intuition, and spending more time "with the land" seems to be the most positive step I've taken in that direction in a long, long time.