Sunday, 17 October 2010

Benthall Edge Woods

I don't know why, but despite the glories of autumn I'm drawn to turning the usual world of colour upside down at the moment, blue trees for instance...

...unstable trees especially, trees that are teetering, or appearing to teeter, drunkenly off the edge of the picture...maybe the tree has become a substitute figure for me, a human figure that is. And walking through a wood is like entering a fairytale world in which everyone has become instantly inanimate.

Of course woods aren't inanimate places at all, they are places of sometimes ravishing, often subtle beauty, noisy and quiet at the same time. Today G and I have visited Benthall Edge Woods, near Ironbridge. Country Living listed them amongst their roll call of idyllic autumn woods recently. They were truly magical and, luckily for us, G and I had them almost entirely to ourselves.

I love standing beneath a canopy of trees this time of year and just listening to the leaves and seeds dropping to earth, a bird's wing fluttering, or the crack of a twig as some unseen animal moves in the undergrowth. It's the very opposite of the kind of empty sensory overload you get in a town centre, this is sensory bliss, gradually as you stand there a whole world of sound, smells and sights come alive around you. You feel both insignificant and blessed. For me it's like being a child again. Both exciting and a comfort.