We can't quite believe how quickly this Autumn has sped by, and how we have been so richly immersed in so much change in the world of the woods around us in such a few short weeks. Our connection with and within nature has flourished during this time. This has brought knowledge, breathing space, awareness, lightness , creativity, incredible independence and a bit of grounding security in our place within the world and our woodland community.
Today amongst other things there was painting, printing, floating, sinking, leaf showers, planting acorns, fire starting, cups of tea, swinging, singing, tapping sticks, chatting, wandering, pulling the trolleys, painting the trolley, foraging, spore print making, acorn ink preparations, tree climbing, bramble cutting, snack eating, "hairdresser's shop" creating and the time and space to be and breath for a while.
We've peeled (and smashed) and started to boil acorns to create our own ink. They need further rounds of boiling and additions of vinegar and honey. Acorns used to be used widely as ink, before the rarer oak galls were utilised to produce it. Many European historical documents(such as the Magna Carta) are written in oak gall ink. We've managed to find a few oak galls this season, but we are saving them. So seeing as it's a bountiful acorn year, we decided to use the more plentiful resource and have a go at making our own ink. We've already started collecting feathers too in anticipation of writing and testing out our writing skills!
We also had a go at exploring and foraging for fungi. What a brilliant adventure it was. We set the found fungi on sheets of paper to rest and create 'spore prints'. We will leave them to rest overnight and see how their spores 'print' onto paper. Each fungi creates a different print. We can't wait for morning.
We were sent an image of trees this week, which when they grew, they managed to leave a space between the tips of their leaves and those of neighbouring trees. It is called crown shyness.
"Crown shyness is a phenomenon observed in some tree species, in which the crowns of fully stocked trees do not touch each other, forming a canopy with channel-like gaps. The phenomenon is most prevalent among trees of the same species, but also occurs between trees of different species."
We had a moment or two today to notice this in the canopy of the oak trees in Sawpit Woods. We planted a sprouting acorn today, so maybe in a few hundred years it will join the canopy. The space, the sky, a deep breath and a cup of tea. And all is right in the world for a moment or two.