I went on another Our Woods event in Corby on Sunday, and while the leader wasn't the best we'd had over the course of the festival, some of the other people proved very knowledgeable about the history of our particular patch and of woodland in general and the things that grow there. I get a bit annoyed with folk whose view of nature is overly romantic, but it's hard not to be moved when you see the tiny flowers and buds starting to appear on the hawthorn.
One of our group was a fungus expert and he pointed out the new season's Scarlet Elf Caps, brilliant red growths that almost look artificial, poking their heads above the leaf litter (pictured above). Then there was King Alfred's Cakes, so called because they look like burnt buns - until you break them in half to reveal concentric rings, like those inside a tree. Some people reckon they smell of charcoal, but I could only smell 'outsideness'.
|A piece of King Alfred's Cake, about the size of a 10p piece|
So if you've got a moment today, pop out and stand amongst the trees. Push your feet down into the ground like roots and turn yoru face up to the canopy. Close your eyes and listen. Breathe deeply and taste the air. Enjoy the textures and look for shapes in the bark (pareidolia). And let your imagine run wild.