In an effort to adhere to the mantra practice what you preach, today I went forest bathing in the local woods. Hopefully you have read my post on forest bathing for wellbeing which I published yesterday, and given the beautiful weather this bank holiday weekend I thought it would be a good idea to get outside myself.
I chose to walk around the woods, along a canal and into a park, but others were riding bikes, having picnics or walking the dog, as I mentioned yesterday giving you just some of the options for a forest bathing experience. There was even an elderly couple laughing like schoolchildren as they attempted to use outdoor gym equipment in the park with varying degrees of success. If they can get out and enjoy the outdoors, the rest of us have no excuse!
I won’t bore you with all the details of my walk, but below I have given a flavour of what I encountered in the woods (and don’t worry, the camera was out for only a few minutes, after which I plunged myself into the sights and sounds and smells). If you have been indulging in some forest bathing this weekend, make sure to share your experiences in the comments below.
A little past their prime, the woods today were still littered with bluebells, breaking up the background of greens and browns.
And as the bluebells fade, they are being replaced with those plants which flower later in the year. Botany is not my strong suit, so it anyone can name this plant please let me know in the comments.
Continuing the flower theme, a small glade within the woods has been left mostly wild and is teeming with buttercups and thistles.
And it’s not just natural beauty which can be found it green spaces. I know I will be in a minority, but pylons have a functional beauty and in this case has blended nicely with the woodland around it.
Birdsong was the overriding sound of the walk today and it was wonderful to hear the vibrant life in the woods. There was also a football match somewhere in the distance with clapping and cheering, but I’m not sure the camera picked the human excitement up quite as well.
Aside from the birds, the running water of the canal overflow dominated the latter part of my walk.
You will have to trust me for smells, but once again the wild garlic was in full force, as well as slightly musty smell where the wet ground had yet to fully dry out in the sun.
The bark on the trees is the obvious thing to be feeling on a woodland walk, but the leaves on low hanging branches are options as well. This tree was particularly gnarly, and if you had kids in tow would be a great choice to introduce bark rubbing.
As I advised in my post yesterday, I kept away from eating anything on the walk today. Not to say there is anything wrong with eating wild plants and in autumn mushrooms, just make sure you know what you are doing before putting anything which could be toxic in your mouth!