Monday, April 5, 2021

Spring Woodland Walks For Wellbeing Reviewed

 

Woodland Walks

Nature and wildlife are a huge part of my life in so many ways. They are an integral part of my life, my soul even. They are essential to my wellbeing. 

I had not been able to go for a woodland walk in a long time due to the Covid lockdowns in our country and having to stay local for walks.

I really missed our woodland walks and the absence of them made me realise how much I need to be connected to nature for my wellbeing. 

I love gardening and have done a lot of that this year but I know I also need the wildness of a forest. So today I would like to take you with me on our woodland walks and to discuss why connecting with nature and especially woodlands is so important.

Bluebells In Spring Woodland Clearing


Walking In Woodland

The obvious benefit to walking in woodland is the exercise. If you are on a treadmill or exercise bike I tend to notice how long I have been exercising. However, in a woodland walk, I can roam for hours up and down hills across streams and I really do not notice that I have in fact been exercising for maybe 2 hours.

In addition, you receive fresh air enhanced by the gorgeous trees and shrubs all around you and the experience being outdoors in a different environment. 

Also, I always find woodland to be so calming. Studies have shown that exercising in woodland decreases stress and anxiety.

There is always something new to see in a woodland from frosty winter trees against a blue sky, haunting misty scenes, to new buds and spring flowers.

We share the woods with many animals and birds and so far we have seen rabbits, squirrels, mice and many species of birds. In fact, it has made me want to learn more about bird songs as I can often hear the birds singing but cannot see them. 

Most of all I always feel tired yet refreshed after a woodland walk. There is something about the energy of the tall trees, the green environment, renewal and being surrounded by wild nature that makes the heart sing and sets me up for the rest of the day. 



Our forest walking began in late winter, early spring when we need some motivation to go out walking on a cold rather misty day. I love the photo below as it shows the woodland as a rather enchanted, mystical place.

The trees are bare with branches reaching for the sky and all around seems asleep, except that we know the buds on the trees and the flowers underground are just waiting patiently to emerge.

I have never felt afraid in a forest, it is all rather comforting and familiar to me. I like to feel small against the huge trees that are protecting, rather than intimidating. 


A Misty Woodland Walk In Early Spring


Tree Bark In Woodland

I love to look out for beautiful bark patterns on the trees. The bark is never just brown, it has amazing patterns and colours, shallow and deep rivulets.

If you look closely you may see a tiny creature or two going about its day. An ancient tree has lived so many years, seen so much and overcome drought with heat and damaging storms.

An ancient tree can give us hope and peace that we too can overcome many things. While our lifespan is not so long as many trees, we can experience and overcome so much, flourish and grow. 


Beautiful Tree Bark


Fallen Trees In A Woodland

I love to see the fallen trees gradually becoming a habitat for new life. The natural life of a tree is usually a long one. Trees seed, grow into young saplings,  mature and live long productive lives.

Then if trees are managed well they are either allowed to fall when old or felled if they become in danger of falling to cause damage or injury.

Importantly if they are allowed to rest rather than cleared away, there is a further opportunity in death for them to still live on providing sustenance and homes for all manner of bugs, insects and mammals.

Their bark eventually decays and enriches the soil and from that springs more new life and so the cycle of nature goes on just as it should. 


Fallen Trees Giving New Life


Stunning Snowdrops  

As winter turns to Spring I eagerly look out for the stunning Snowdrop. I do not have a favourite flower rather I like to embrace each flower on its own merits and the snowdrop is a perfect example of a flower that has its moment in time.

Snowdrops look so delicate, so tiny yet they are strong and tough little flowers that survive and thrive  at one of the harshest times of the year

I adore the white purity of the flower against the shining green stems and am always amazed how such a tiny flower braves snow and ice, winds and wet and comes through it all defying the harsh conditions to bloom so brightly, so splendidly.

To me, they are a symbol of Hope that the winter is behind us and the warmer, sunnier lighter days are just around the corner. We also look forward to bluebells, crocus and the wonderful fungi that appear in the forest. 



Woodland Birds

Birds fascinate me more than most animals in the woodland. I am mesmerized by their singing, the clever way they build their nests and care for their young and the beauty of their feathers.

I love to look out for blackbirds, sparrows, blue tits and woodpeckers. It is a lovely way to spend a morning to find a place to sit and listen to this sound which is as beautiful as the most accomplished orchestra.

In one of the forests we visit, the local Wildlife Trust has set up birdfeeder stations. If you are quiet and still and patient there is nothing better than watching the birds dart onto and off the feeders. Sometimes I take photos, other times I simply experience the moment, in a state of just being. 

I was so lucky we were in the right place at the right time and actually looking upwards to the tops of the trees, to get the opportunity to take this photograph of a cormorant perching high to dry his wing feathers after diving.

Cormorants are distinctive birds that often live in the woodland but nearby water and there is a large pond in the middle of this forest that is perfect for this bird to fish in. They have as you can see a long neck and an almost prehistoric appearance about them. After fishing, it needs to find a high perch in the open where it can hold its wings out so they can dry after each dive.  I feel so privileged to have observed this moment in nature.


Cormorant Drying Wings After Diving


Spring In The Woods, Nurturing The Soul

As we approach Spring, the clocks go forward, we have longer hours of daylight and suddenly the forest changes occur very quickly.

The tiny tight buds we saw in early spring now unfurl at a rapid pace and the previously brown bare branches almost overnight turn into bright fresh green foliage. This is my favorite time right now.

 Everything is fresh and new and bright, the days are longer and there is the promise of much more to come. Any worries we have seem more bearable in this beautiful magical environment. I feel a fresh resurgence of the desire to do things, to grow, to explore.


Early Spring In The Woods


It is far too easy these days to become caught up in the everyday noise of our lives, the television, the news, the traffic to see what is occurring right with us if we take time to really look and listen.

There is nothing quite like a forest to see that renewal to view the changes in nature, to feel the growth of new life, to smell the damp soil underfoot and to hear the beautiful birdsong. To experience the sheer joy of finding a new flower that was not there the day before. 


Beautiful Bluebells!


I love this poem by WH Davies which encourages us to "stand and stare" in nature for our own good.


What Is Life If Full Of Care...?

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

by W.H. Davies


Woodland Walking And Wellbeing

I gave some thought to what word I feel when walking in the woods and I have concluded that the word is "Serenity".


That is the feeling and that is perhaps why so many studies are now showing that it is vital for us all to spend more time in a natural environment.

Even if that is only one walk a week it gives us benefits but if we can make it thirty minutes a day it is beneficial to our overall health and certainly to our mental and emotional wellbeing.  

Life can be quite challenging at times and we all have things we need to deal with, perhaps more so these days, so we need a place to go to ground ourselves, to find peace, to find that serenity. 


If you, like me love to connect with nature and the countryside and have a love for trees and woodlands and have enjoyed this glimpse into my woodland walks, you may enjoy reading this book Wildwood by the late Roger Deakin. He was a British nature writer and takes us on a journey through the mysteries of woods, trees and nature in several countries around the world. His writing is quite beautiful and uplifting when looking into the spirituality of nature and people's connection with the natural world.  

  


So for me walking in woodland is not only an enjoyable activity I always look forward to whatever the weather and a way to connect with nature, but it is also an essential part of ensuring my health and wellbeing. I hope you have enjoyed this walk through the woods with me. 


More Nature Articles

 Six Ways To Help Wildlife In The Year Ahead  

5 Wildlife Gift Ideas Reviewed

Spring Into The Garden Give Nature A Helping Hand A Garden Review

Joy Of The First Snowdrops Diary Of A Wild Country Garden





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

16 comments:

  1. Excellent article the conveys the love of nature and our connection to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment. I am so glad you liked the article. I do love nature and love the feeling of being connected to it.

      Delete
  2. Oh Jasmine, I so agree with you and love this article. You have captured what it means to be one with nature and how to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us. We really need to take the time to stop and stare otherwise we miss the little miracles that happen all around us everyday! Thanks for this lovely respite, for reading your words has made me reflect and get back out there to "see" what is happening right around me too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, I am so glad you love this walk through the woods in nature. Yes its true there are little miracles all around us when we take the time to look for them :)

      Delete
  3. Have always loved that poem by W.H. Davies.

    My hubby's favorite pastime was walking in the woods. He said the sights and sounds of nature were a peaceful counterpoint to the stresses of life. We moved a number of times over the years and he always found a nearby woods or forest to take his walks in. Your reasons for your woodland walks are similar to his and essential for a sense of balance in a busy life.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree it is a lovely poem. Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your hubby's reasons for his woodland walks. It is always lovely to explore a new forest! I think they are such a tonic to deal with the stresses of everyday life.

    ReplyDelete
  5. A wonderful article Jasmine, I believe you have captured the true meaning of life and nature. We love taking walks through the forest. Although we do not do it as often as we would like to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Sam. I am happy that you liked the article and that you too enjoy walking in the forests. It is not always easy to find the time but if we can there are many benefits.

      Delete
  6. Jasmine Ann, you've taken us on a captivating journey with your words and images. I, too, enjoy walking in the woods. And, of late, I've been reading books about walking as part of my spiritual journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for your lovely kind words Ruth. I am glad you liked the journey through the woods and my photos. It is such a lovely thing to walk in the forests.

      Delete
  7. We love our woodland walks too! They really are rejuvenating. You are so right about how easy it is to be distracted by electronics and miss the beauty of our world. I believe we naturally crave the benefits (vitamin D comes to mind)of being outdoors, breathing fresh air and the natural exercise of taking long walks. This post is beautifully written. It is inspiring and makes me want to step away from the computer and go for a revitalizing walk for my own wellbeing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh Thank you Sylvestermouse! I am so happy you found my walk through the woodland inspiring. Yes you are right we all need the benefits of being outdoors and Vitamin D is important. We do indeed live in a beautiful world.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Jasmine, your words are so eloquent that the poetry of others blends in seamlessly! Those snowdrops are so very beautiful. We don’t live near the woods, and although my husband’s parents’ three-season cottage by the lake in Maine is in the middle of a beautiful wooded area, the mosquitoes are so prevalent (and I’m like gooey, frosted chocolate cake to them!) that, unfortunately, it’s hard for me to fully enjoy my walks there, since I really hate the idea of spraying myself and my clothes with DEET, which seems to be the only effective protection against being covered head-to-toe with welts (since I’m also allergic to bug bites). 🥲 Even Picardin sprays don’t protect me from them. So, I’m especially grateful to be able to enjoy your spring woodland walks - and snowdrops - vicariously. ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow Thank you so much for your compliment Margaret!I do appreciate it. Yes I love snowdrops too, so delicate yet so strong. Oh that's a shame about all the mosquitoes, I would be the same! We do not have them here, well not to that degree. I am happy though that I could share my woodland walks with you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You are absolutely one with the earth, there is no doubt about that. Your passion for outdoors is evident in almost everything you do and write about. I too get a healthy, renewed feeling when I'm outside. I use my bike-rides as prayer bike rides. Loved all your photos, so gorgeous! You're right about having no sense of time when walking, especially in a forest. My legs only permit me to bike right now -walking is difficult on long stretches - hope that gets better because I used to go on three hour walks with the kids when they were young - your photos and this article have me wishing to be able to do that again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Thank you Barbara!Yes I love the outdoors and feel for the earth and love being in a forest. I appreciate that you like my photos that means a lot to me as I enjoy taking them. I love that you enjoy being outdoors with your bike rides, it is wonderful to do that.

      Delete

Review This Reviews Quick View Home Page

The Review This Contributors



Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010RenaissanceWomanLou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelSam MonacoSam MonacoRaintree AnnieRaintree AnnieBuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecoratingforEventsHeather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G




Review This is Dedicated to the
Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor


We may be apart, but
You Are Not Forgotten


Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner




“As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement

X