A walk in the woods


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Yorkshire, UK
We live in an inner city, so we can't pop out for walks very easily - not ones with grass, trees, birds, or even bumps that could be called "small hills".

Yesterday was a nice day - so we went in the car in the afternoon to a place about 10 miles away called "Beverley Westwood".

Really, it's all just grassy plains with tiny broken areas of woodland - nothing large at all, jet a couple of acres at best.

But one of the really great things is that in one section of trees the ground is very uneven. It's possibly the result of excavation or building work, or even still, a folly. But there's just something great about being in an uneven woodland - even a small one. The bumps extend out onto the grass. I just love running up these bumps, and I always wonder why I'm not wearing leather boots and tunic. Sometimes I even wonder where my bow and arrow is (never had one, but I get this feeling a lot in woodlands).

Anyway, it's a great way to unwind - it's reinvigorating, and something even the wash of pollen I'm allergic to something leaves me feeling a little cleansed. It's almost like spiritual re-charging.

Anyone else feel like that around trees?
I absolutely love walking through the countryside around where I live. The best times are the warm autumn evenings when the trees are turning red and the village returns to sleepiness after the tourists have left. I love the mountains as well. It's wonderful here. I would suppose that I am especially blessed living by the highlands of Scotland but I am very thankful for it.
Well, went back to Beverley Westwood today. Found a sign that described something of the history of the area - apparently it had been settled through the Bronze Age and Iron Age period and right into Roman times! No wonder we like the place! There's something about certain old places...but maybe I should open a new thread on the issue on the "Old Oak Tree"... ;)

Ooh, Angel White - I almost envy you! I sincerely hope to live in Scotland one day. Immense scenary. Glencoe especially looked dramatic, even just driving through. Maybe worth another visit there.
Wildness in the City
Tilei Timberlake
Copywrite 2000

Tonight the oppossum stalked the patio. The search for food and water in a concrete jungle continues as I sleep. The carpenter ants trek dangerously across the chemical hills in their quest for survival. Little reaction to the diazinon pellets and complete avoidance of the bait. They march onto the cream colored mountain of my carpeted steps. The reward for their nightly efforts to the great porcelain pond is fresh water for the nest. Nightly, spiders lay devilish traps of silken threads hoping for a premier catch of carpenter venison. And the mothes dance to their death in the firelight.

The night lingers on, raccoons rummage festively through gourmet cans, as ferocious feral cats wait their turn. There...dancing in the candlelight. A common but rarely scene moth! It's not overly attracted to the fire, it is more interested in flowers, a hummingbird moth. Wings beating a thousand breaths. Gathering nectar, it is stolen from the daylight bumblebee. And the garden spider spins her geometric web..... She is but a wing beat away from death. The spider's web sways ever slightly in the breeze of her crystal wings. Out of the corner of the web dances the temptress, but the hummingbird moth darts out of the sticky grasp of silken thread.

He then appears. Dark, shimmering and lithe looking for his maiden. The moonlight glistens on his dark coat and muscles ripple with anticipated strength. The tom cat of the neighborhood. His eyes aglow on his leisurely stroll up to the prison of metal screen. She runs to smell his scent. And there they sit gazing into each others dilated eyes. Silent meows of submission. He caresses her through the prison mesh and she responds with a melodic voice. The door crashes open and they are off. Gone into the darkness and to dance in the moonlight of their private patio.

The brush rustles with nervous anticipation. Large movements of branches announce the presence of the herd. A conservative path is cut across the lawn. Cautiously the river of concrete and roaring metal is approached. A leap and across, a leap and across, a leap and across to continue the search for survival in their stolen forest.

A single golden rays cuts across the sky to announce the evening of life and death is over. Creatures of the night return to their hidden places, save one. She was not a key in the chain of survival, but a casualty. Her delicate feline body lay beside the river of concrete.

Nature is everywhere, if one knows where to look....
That's a nice piece - you make the city sound so exciting!

I still do yearn for countryside though - the ability to walk from the concrete and into grass and woods and see hills around me. It is very flat where I live, and the farms spread out on the reclaimed marsh for around 20 miles. Nowhere close to walk to, just little glimmers of preserved green.
Do those who live in cities beside hillsides and mountains and wooded forests and lakes behave any differently than those who face bare expanse of concrete?
Yes, I believe those who live next a nature area behave differently.

I for one don't use manmade fertilizers, don't plant invasive species, and remove invasive visitors from my plot.

Now my city friends in most cases garden their plots with lots of fertilizers and whatever plants they tend to like. This being the case many times because their city environment is too harsh for the native species to survive.
I love the great outdoors. When I was a lot younger I used to enjoy just going outside on a lovely sunny day with my video camera and filming nature in all its majesty. I would make twenty or thirty minute films of anything I could, and dub classic music over the films. I once made a four seasons film to match Vivaldi's four seasons, that was a beautifully diverse one. I don't have the time to do the films anymore though. I miss simply being outside without a care in the world, working sure does have its downside. Strange what you take for granted really.
I don't miss not having a care in the world - but I do miss the countryside. I guess I appreciate it far more nowadays. The hayfever seems less vicious these days as well. :)
We actually went back and walked over where the ancient settlements were supposed to be. There were some slight earthworks, but it's hard to know whether these are original or from later building - there's a windmill nearby so it's certainly been used in more recent times.

Anyway, it was a bit windy and not as nice as the small woodland areas. The people with kites were happy but we didnt spend too long there, though. :)
I don't miss not having a care in the world

What I meant to say was I miss having a more nonchalant attitude toward work, and a lot more free time ;D

No time to just be outside any more - Its depressing really. It think that everyone can suffer a mild form of SAD through lack of Vitamin D. Those who work outside truly take our sun for granted. :(
I live in a fairly large city, but we are within 1 hour of some of the best skiing on the continent, which means in the summer some great hiking opportunities. In both summer and winter I try to hike (or snowshoe) weekly, as being alone in the woods gives me time to focus myself, and sense a connection to the world beyond the technological cube that is my professional world. It saddens me that so many locals hereabout never leave the prison of concrete to visit the play yard outdoors. Some of my coworkers spend their lunch hours at a place nearby that has a "virtual snowboard" game, but not one of them will step outside the range of their cel phones and experience the world as it is.
Hi scion - and yes, that is quite sad. Depends on whether you mean an hours walk or drive, though. :)

An hour's walk can be manageable, but even just an hour with young children can drive folks nuts! Especially if there's a danger of knocking out a well-structured routine - notably, sleeping times.

Still, I'm going to risk that this summer and go visit a range of ancient sites. Planning to visit Rievaulx Abbey a week on Saturday, if possible - superb ruins there - and maybe get in the smaller ruins of Byland and Kirky Abby's as well. :)