Into the crimson wood.

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On a perfect autumn day the wood looked enticing. The leaves had turned crimson from the frosts and a soft mist was flowing down the hill from it.

Susan was walking along the path between her bungalow and the village a couple of miles away. She wanted a paper and some milk, but she had time so she decided to take a detour. The sun was bright and low, and as she was walking due East it was shining into her eyes. A quick few steps upwards and she entered the skirts of the forest. As with many managed woods the outside was deciduous but then there were pines and larch and other evergreens inside it, the trunks growing close knit, the shade deepening the further she looked inwards.

Susan had walked half a mile through the crimson leaves, enjoying the autumn colour, when she was stopped by a fence, it was wooden with barbed wire across the top. No entry signs were fastened to it with metal clips. More worryingly there were other signs saying danger of electrocution. Where had it come from? She’d walked this way last week and there had just been the path across the field. She could not go on, but turned right and wove her way a bit further into the wood, hoping there would be an end to it. Perhaps it would turn a corner and allow her to make her way?

As she moved along the fence she heard squawking, like a flock of geese? In a wood? The ground on the other side of the fence looked trampled and worn down. The bird sounds got louder. Suddenly she came out into a clearing. The Geese were there. Giant Geese, huge, eight or nine foot tall! She felt scared and didn’t know what to do. Just walk backwards she thought, be quiet and back away from the Geese. She had managed to duck the problem!

Light through clouds

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In the forest it was gloomy, rain had been falling all day, and a grey swirling cap of clouds seemed to sit just above the treetops.

As she walked into the clearing she looked up. No sign of sunshine. It was almost as dark there as under the trees. At least there was a pool which looked clear. She had got a camping stove and would soon be able to make a hot drink. This then would be her camping spot for the night. Only another 20 miles to her destination.

Then as she prepared her evening meal, the clouds started to part and light streamed into the glade.

The light seemed to trigger movement. All around her the ground seemed to lift up into humps which turned into writhing figures in human form. They had been held down by green tendrils of leaves. The green men. An ancient myth. She screamed as she realised they were surrounding her, mirroring the surrounding trees. Tendrils reaching out and pinning her to the ground. She had realised too late that they were carnivorous plants.

Out of touch

We have just come back from a very wet Yorkshire. We stayed in a lodge in the woods. It was very nice, but damp.

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There is a lake at the place where we stayed and we saw¬† ducks and geese with youngsters walking through the woodlands. The only shame is that they are going to cut down some of the trees so people can get WiFi. I’d rather go without it and keep the trees.

We drove out to Fountains Abbey and I tried to draw it but the rain was coming down and the ink pen ran. However we had some very nice food in an Italian restaurant by the side of the River Wharfe.

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Now I think I need an early night. I will try and catch up with WordPress over the next couple of days.

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Poppies

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I realise why poppies don’t flower in our garden. It’s too shady. I’ve been out and looking at people’s gardens and the ones in full sun are resplendent with poppies, ours are short weedy things. I’m going to have to have some of the overgrowth cut back a bit. I do not want to make it tidy or remove stuff for the birds but I’m growing a wood or forest in the garden. Bearing in mind it’s the area where two terraced houses were and their yards we have three cherry trees two apple trees, a walnut, two or three Ash trees, two baby oak trees, a sycamore, an acer, a mountain Ash tree, a pear tree, a eucalyptus, a willow tree, a laurel Bush a couple of Holly bushes and elderberry that are taking on tree like proportions. The walnut is raided by a squirrel which plants them so we have baby walnuts growing. Plus there is a lot if ground cover ivy and geraniums. It’s a jungle out there. I feel very lucky to have the land but I think I will contact our local wildlife Trust to see if they can help.

The old wood

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Step over into the wood and you will be lost forever. Keep this side of the fence. That was what she was always warned as she grew up. There are wolves, bears, screech owls. Spiders big as dinner plates. The boogy man lives there.

For twenty years she kept out. But she knew one day she would have to climb the fence and go and look.

She was twenty one today, she had been to a birthday party at the village hall. Now she was walking home along the lane. The sun was setting and the wood loomed up above her rising up the hill, shutting off the sunlight.

One step led to another. Pine needles softened her footsteps, tree roots started to tangle round her ankles. She looked back to check where the path was, but could not see it through the trees. She tried to retrace her steps, but could not find the fence. Fear crept into her, she trembled as the cool night air touched her skin.

The night was darker and a cold rain fell, still she walked, tripping and falling into bushes, scratched from thorns.

It was early morning when the ranger found her wandering. She could not speak. Her eyes were staring into space, out of focus. No one ever found out what happened to her that night. But the Green man of the woods smiled to himself as she was taken away in an ambulance.