To the woods
When the first wave of lock-down restrictions lifted here in the UK, I stopped in a lay-by at the edge of a woodland. I had to pick something up for work which led me to the spot - I noted it on the way, and on the way back I stopped. I think I was there for all of 10 minutes.
When I got back to the house it dawned on me that I could have been there longer, that I could have walked further, or sat or just enjoyed being there for longer. But actually, this was all that I needed - to see the sun through the leaves. To look at the bracken unfurling. To catch sight of some bluebells still clinging on. For a bit of Vitamin Tree, and this view of a sea of green.
I'm really happy with my new life as an artist rather than a Forest School Leader / Trainer, but I miss the immersion in woodlands. It was such a privilege to be deep amongst the woodland species as they change through the seasons, year in and year out. I realised in lock-down just how much I missed the subtle changes in the woods as spring grows into summer. Returning to the woods after the Easter holidays used to always be such a thrill - to play spot the difference with every species and every wood that I worked in as everything would have changed such a lot in a relatively short time.
Now that I find myself in a new patch geographically I am going to hunt out where I can go to see my old favourite species in new locations. Already the list is growing - first of the things I miss and second of where I can now find them.
Noticing nature and more specifically the light as it plays with nature is a hook that catches me every time. I am a photo addict - I love the thrill of being able to capture something through a lens that can transport me back to the beauty of that place when I have left it.