Posted: Saturday 27th June 2015 by 30DaysWild2015

Woodland leavesWoodland leaves

A different view on a short walk

I only had time for a short walk this morning.  I drifted through our local woodland, thinking about blogging again! What new perspective could I bring to a simple woodland walk?  Something not already covered in one way or another at some point in the last 26 days.  Of course, 'perspective' was they key word.  When you walk through a wood it can be very easy to spend your time looking at the ground, watching where you put your feet but actually much of the key stuff is going on in exactly the opposite direction.  At first I thought I might write about photosynthesis, that magical process which starts all life in the wood. There is, however, more magic in the view into the canopy.

Woodland canopy from belowWhen I used to run a local Watch group one of the favourite activities was 'Eye in the Sky'.  The youngsters were provided with a mirror tile glued to a larger matt black background, they had to imagine that they had an eye on top of their head. The board and tile was held at chest level and they had to look down at it, actually seeing the canopy above them as though it was below them.  The background meant that they could not see the path and just got lost in the view. I loved leading that activity, leading a trail of children through a woodland on a carefully chosen path. It was so easy for me to become totally engrossed in the view too. When the canopy was high above it was as though you were walking through a carpet of green leaves, when the canopy was lower it was as though you were pushing through the branches like a ghost and when there was clear sky above it was as though you were stepping into a deep blue pool, there were always plenty of shrieks at that point.  This activity was always the first of at least 4 similar tasks: collecting scent cocktails, finding fragements of rainbows etc. The whole session touched with elements of the magic of the natural world. I remember those activities very fondly.  25 years on I occasionally meet those children or their parents; they still remember!

I won't be blogging tomorrow: The Wildlife Trusts' 30DaysWild campaign has suggested that all us 'bloggers' have a totally tech / screen free day and just concentrate on the Natural World for just one day.  It's going to be tough, no 'phone, camera, iPad or come to think of it I suppose no T.V. ... Oh Noooooo!

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