Monday, 16 April 2007
Having discovered the joys of walking barefoot last year through some local woodland, I had eagerly been awaiting the chance to go out this spring. I would have liked to have done so on Dartmoor last week, but the risks of tick bites and lyme disease are all to real and so I had to keep my boots firmly on. The other day I was pushing a sleeping Emily in the buggy up by Putteridge College and, as the weather was warm and sunny, so an opportunity presented itself. It was wonderful to walk along the large expanse of short grass beside the college drive and up into the woods having cast aside my walking boots and socks. The grass was beautifully warm and the earth dry. While in the woods there were many changes in textures from the crisp oak leaves of last autumn to the soft crumbly leaf mould at the base of a recently naturally-fallen silver birch - I just sank ankle deep into a wonderful warm and moist 'compost' that had buillt up over the years which had now been uplifted by the birch roots. It was sad to see the birch on the ground, already half sawn up by a chainsaw. The tree was probably around 170 years old judging by an approximate ring count.