What happened on the hidden path through the oak thicket

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

autumn oak tree woodland fungi story
If I've used thicket incorrectly then you'll have to excuse my exuberance for cracking out a word which seems to sum up everything I like about undergrowth. On Sunday we broke off from chores and scheduled cooking time in the hope of getting a little fresh air and a regaining a smidgen of sanity.
There was a catch, as life just doesn't flow the way you expect. There were cows in the field we had intentions to walk around and therefore plan B was essential. Thankfully our journey was not wasted and we headed the other way for a wander. I'll share some of those pictures in the next few days but for now I'm focussing on the thicket. We wandered further than before and stumbled across a little gate, almost completely hidden in the low, leafy oak boughs. A concessionary path, no less. The trees and bushes grew densely and not much light made it's way down to the forest floor.
autumn oak tree woodland fungi story

autumn oak tree woodland fungi story
Many oak trees amongst a variety of everything else. As we opened the gate, there was a frequent thud to be heard from all around. A pitter-patter of raining acorns; we put up our hoods in the vain hope that it offer some sort of protection.
autumn oak tree woodland fungi story

autumn oak tree woodland fungi story
autumn oak tree woodland fungi story
 Berries hit the deck.
autumn oak tree woodland fungi story
 I found this rather interesting fungi on a silver birch,
autumn oak tree woodland fungi story
autumn oak tree woodland fungi story
The path took a relatively liner route through the trees and sadly ended by the roadside, with no obvious point of continuation. We retraced our steps back into the undergrowth. Still keen to find the fairytale red spotty mushroom I was hawk eyeing the forest floor for any signs. From ahead, C pointed out this (above) and wondered if it was an old withered example. (on closer inspection it certainly wasn't) but I liked it nevertheless so took a picture. I was just finishing when we both heard a creaking, cracking sound ahead of a bough tearing from a tree and falling to the ground. It wasn't all that far ahead, maybe 30-40 meters so I was firstly relieved that our mushroom hunt had prevented us from possible early demise and second a little concerned that there may be more to fall. As it tuned out, the bough wasn't on the path and we surfaced at the little gate unscathed. 
autumn oak tree woodland fungi story

autumn oak tree woodland fungi story
 There were plenty of fungi to captivate me.
autumn oak tree woodland fungi story

autumn oak tree woodland fungi story

autumn oak tree woodland fungi story
Hurrah for not getting squashed by a tree, But do be careful in woodland.
I was so gleeful of finding such an exciting path, which I like to think remains a little secret, known only to a few.
Sophie

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