Dear diary...Thursday 10th October 2019.
It was a beautiful day for a walk, not hot, just a little sun peeping through those glorious clouds I've so come to love. The forest beckoned me and my partner as we got in the car and drove to Savernake.
The car park today wasn't too full as we arrived, just a few odd cars dotted about, I could tell it had definitely been a good idea to come here. As we began walking the tree lined path, the only sound was the rustling of breeze through tops of trees, as golden leaves fell coming to land at our feet.
We didn't say much to begin with, just took in the nature around, when all of a sudden a robin came to land on the branch of a tree by the edge of the path and we both stood completely still in awe watching as this little bird begins its call. With my imagination as usual working overtime, the robin appeared to be saying, “welcome to the forest, I hope you have a good ramble,” then it flew off leaving me to smile at my fancy.
A bit further on and a squirrel crossed our path with a prickly horse chestnut in its mouth, I wondered how his tongue didn't get cut...or is it a she? I pondered! I cannot tell, never having really thought too much about a squirrels sex before, but I think they must have cast iron mouths.
We stopped in silence once again hoping for a sighting of a deer, but didn't see any. It's so rare to glimpse these majestic creatures, I've only ever had one sighting and that was many years ago when me and my partner went deeper into the forest crossing ferns, our legs got tangled up in loads of thorny brambles, which left me never wanting to venture off path again, well not at my age now anyway.
Then it got me thinking, that at one time in our history there would have been huge bears and wolves roaming this English forest. My partner told me that eventually they all got hunted down for food, I supposed one bear would have fed and clothed an entire family through the cold winter months. I couldn't imagine coming face to face with either of these creatures, remembering such stories as Goldilocks And The Three Bears, also Little Red Riding Hood. Those wolves running in packs, so hungry and seeing you as their next decent meal, makes me feel so lucky and glad to be living in England where we don't have to encounter such dangers.
As I was talking to my partner, suddenly we both heard a loud smack, my partner thought it was a gun going off, but luckily I happened to be looking in the right direction, and saw a large branch falling from a dead tree, with a thud as it hit the ground, the noise did make us both jump as it was so quiet and nobody else was around.
After that episode we carried on walking, it's so serene here, makes me feel glad to be alive in these blissful, passing years where me and my partner can live in the here and now, noticing intricate fine gossamer spiders webs, or a stag beetle crossing our path, rushing along as fast as its little legs would carry it. Also the many different colours, shapes and sizes of fungi that grow from trees and out of the earth...deadly but amazing to study up close.
Then looking up we see a Wood Pecker preening colurful feathers and rubbing its beak on a branch before flying off. We also catch sight of a huge hole in the trunk of a tall tree, where we imagine an owl is nesting, “could it be that it knows we're here?” We both say together.
It's also fine to have time gazing with curiosity at bloated bulges on trunks of trees, I think they're called burls. They appear to show different faces, we both see eyes, mouths and long noses, then there's an image of a gargoyle that catches our attention, struggling to climb out of a hole in the trunk of an oak as it leers at the ground, frozen in time like it's been consumed by a wizard's spell.
We both smile at our imaginations, as cooling breezes carry us on our way and golden rays now sink low through remaining leaves on trees, a promise of the afternoon winding down after walking for two hours.
We say, “hi!” to a man we pass, out with his spaniel, the dog's only interest is to seek out all the different smells as it wanders with nose to the ground, checking out ferns and those earthy odours.
“This is a good day for a walk!” He announces, “going to be lots more rain on the way.” We both agree with a smile as we pass.
It was now time to return to the car. Without a care it's nice to wander with nature's ambiance, but even better when returning home again.
Pixabay free photo.