I went for a walk in this afternoon’s sunshine and started to map out the little patch of woods near me, a project inspired by getting lost in the same patch of woods last week. I tried to draw my route as I walked, which was a very interesting experience. I found myself becoming aware of every little curve (although my sense of direction still failed me!). I left my three decorated pebbles at various points along my route. My map didn’t entirely work – parts that should have joined up… didn’t. And I kept unexpectedly getting to the edges of pieces of paper. But I discovered several new paths that I’m sure weren’t there before!
On my way back towards the entrance, I met a black spaniel, which alerted me to the potential presence of another person. Around the corner, sitting on a sturdy branch between two trees reading a book, was the owner of the dog. I said hello and we got chatting. He took me on a quick circuit of the woods (much quicker than my earlier meanderings) and pointed out how he and his children had attempted to lay branches as a guide to the main route. We also chatted a bit about the history of the village. I’ve never met anyone else while walking in these woods, but apparently there is also another person who walks their dog in there twice a day, which explains how there is such a well-defined path between the overgrown patches.
I’m going to go back to the woods and attempt to alter my map so that things join up correctly (maybe I need a compass…) and to map out the alternative paths that I didn’t take. I also want to try to identify the different types of tree that grow there. And maybe I’ll use more decorated pebbles to create a trail, merging the pebbles from the beach with the very different environment of the woods.