Monday, May 28, 2012

The Importance of the Woods

Listening to the water, trickling beneath the rocks

On hot, humid days like today, I feel lanquid and sticky, and very thankful to be able to come inside where it's air conditioned. Is this what the summer will be like? I hope not. Considering the winter we just had, and the serious lack of snow, I'm beginning to think this summer is going to be very hot and dry indeed.

It's days like today that I think back on a hike we had earlier this Spring, and how I would love to be in the shade of the forest, surrounded by cool moss, damp earth and the sound of the water trickling beneath my feet.

Cascade of moss


I wonder if all of the small, unfurling things have burst open, and are growing wild now. I'm sure there's a jungle of large ferns where there were fiddleheads before, tight and full of promise. Would the same path we took earlier be unrecognizable now?

There are many memories of my own childhood that I reminisce on and hold dear to my heart. If you ask me about outings and family trips, the small day trips that were not far from home, mean just as much - - and if not more, than the trips my parents spent money on. (Note to self. LOL) 

We didn't have to travel far to go to the Enniskillen Conservation Area, or Jackson's Bush. 
Clyde, the family dog - - My dog, happily joined us on these excursions and would go bounding with all the joy and unrestrained spirit that all dogs embody. 
I'm sure us girls looked just as carefree, running through the long grass to the forest, wide-eyed and amazed by the "untouched" green woods, carpeted with rotting logs, rocks and plants. 

My Dad would always point to the trees and identify them to us by their leaves or bark, eagerly listening to the way they sighed and rubbed against one another high above our heads. I've never known my Dad to be a religious man, but I have always known that he's a spiritual one, and the forest is his church. 


Tiny growing things
I do recall my Mom, excitedly showing us a Jack-in-the-pulpit once. 
Maybe they were always there, on the forest floor and I never noticed them. Maybe back then, I was more enthralled with the creek and stepping stones, or crossing falling logs and looking into the deep pools for minnows. It was later, as a teenager with my camera, exploring a wood lot near my home, that I "re-discovered" the plants for myself. Now, every time I see those tell-tale leaves and the pitcher plants' silhouette, a thrill of that old excitement runs through me. This year, our walk coincided perfectly with Jack-in-the-Pulpits being in full "bloom". Trilliums, however, were just finishing, and the only blossoms I found were wilting, or had been slightly chewed by bugs. 

My parents must have instilled in us a "leave only footprints" mentality, because I cannot remember ever picking a wildflower (aside from daisies or asters by the roadside). They're like the wild animals that inhabit the same space, admired from afar, but left well enough alone. 

I hope my boys will learn to love and appreciate nature in the same way we learned as kids, through peaceful exploration on lanquid days. 


  1. I love this post and feel like I am there with you! :)

  2. Thank You, Kathleen. I got a bit carried a way by it all (in a good way, I think) :)

  3. The way you write Jode makes me feel you should be writing a book about how important the woods really are. With the awsome pictures and your wonderfull words how could anyone not want to spend time in the woods.You're able to say what I want to say but in a way that people will listen to.We should all realize that the small things that we see and hear when we are young influence us for the rest of our lives and I'm glad that you and Mike are also showing the boys important things that last a life time.A beautiful blog Jode love you Dad


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