After the driest spring and summer, we decided that today was the day for final preparations in the woods, just as it started to rain! The canopy of the woodland provides surprisingly brilliant cover from the rain, as does our small tarpaulin shelter, so it wasn't too much of a wet experience after all.
And there is always something magical about listening to the sound of rain drops on surfaces above , as you stay dry beneath.
It is amazing to see how virulent the plants are in the woodland. We usually use the space twice a week, but obviously the ground has had a rest for 5 months since activity stopped due to covid in March. And so the wild has crept back to where it belongs without the footfall of small people. Brambles have scrambled and made some excellent trip hazards. We had a bit of snipping maintenance and path clearing. Trying to create the balance of 'treading lightly' on the land, whilst not tripping and falling heavily wherever we step.
The brambles had overcome the space where the slack line was set up, so we moved it elsewhere to let the wild do its thing. It has taken a while, but we've worked out the fiddly ratchet mechanism to tighten and adjust the slack line. And we've refreshed out knot tying skills whist putting up a guide rope.
There was a bit of clearing the fire circle work to be done and ensuring that our logs are spaced out, for when we need to gather and shelter at a safe distance.
There is some elder which was taken out of a hedge last week. It will be perfect for making pencils with next week. The soft wood is great to learn how to saw with and the soft pithy centre can be pushed out simply with a peg. Once we have made our own charcoal, we can insert it in and hey presto, we'll have our own pencils to draw and mark make with.
And so with some final cleaning of tools, sink, surfaces and shed doors completed, we headed back off up the hill home. Ready to Play and Learn in the woods next week.