Walking in the World

Tag Archives: Coombe Wood


Today was cloudy and dark, with some periods of heavy rain… I wish we could send some of those raindrops to my native California where fires are burning out of control. I offer my heartfelt prayers, of course, and am deeply saddened, but also inspired by the way the community is pulling together to support both victims and firefighters. From the sounds of it, this is the worst it has ever been, and I remember some pretty bad fires from when I was a child.

Here in England, autumn seems to be settling in. My toddler-buddy and I went for a walk in Coombe Wood this afternoon, where we spotted the first mushrooms of the season.

14 Sep 2015

Blackthorn Blossoms


A stroll through muddy Coombe Wood turned up some very welcome, albeit tiny, signs that spring is on its way.

24 Feb 2015

Ancient Holy Ground


The wind was bitter this afternoon, but it served to chase the rain away, and the beauty of the remaining clouds racing across the sky more than made up for the shivering. St. Peter’s Church stands on ancient holy ground just on the other side of Coombe Wood, so is only a short walk from home, a perfect destination for a cold day. I like the thought that people have come to this place for centuries, possibly millennia, seeking divine connection. The sense of peace is profound.

28 Jan 2015

Tree Stripes


The snow that was forecast hasn’t materialized, so the woods were drenched in stripey sunlight when I went out for an afternoon walk. All was quiet, no animals stirring, no dogs out walking their humans – I had the trees to myself.


18 Jan 2015

Wandering into Antiquity

Chapman & Andre map of 1777

We live on the very edge of old woodlands. Very old woodlands, in fact, once attached to a royal manor belonging to King John. The lodge is long gone, but the coppice woodland is an established and much loved part of local life. Inspired by my weekend of working with the map shown above (and in my website header), a friend and I went walking in Coombe Wood this morning, following along an ancient track leading through the trees. Modern civilization has made its mark, with delineated paths that follow their older predecessors, but the hush of woodland is as inspiring and calming as ever. The bleak January weather doesn’t make for very inspiring photos, but perhaps this will be the start of regular postings as I wander through the seasons — it’s a lovely and comfortable place to walk.


Clearly, the animals enjoy the woods as much as the humans, making their lives there as they have done for centuries. This handy stump has apparently made an excellent food bowl for the resident squirrels.


My husband remembers playing in these woods as a child, and there are signs that nothing has changed – children still build huts by leaning old branches up against trees, and piling up the dead leaves to mark out territories and divisions. And who can resist climbing into a burnt out tree?


12 Jan 2015

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