Walking in the World

Tag Archives: Trees

Tree Love


Once upon a time a Tree was so loved that when it came time to put a little brick wall around its garden,  the owners left a break in the wall so as not to disturb the tree.


Over the years, the Tree grew tall and provided shade for the garden and beauty to the road. After a while, ivy grew up her trunk, and lots of passers-by came to love the Tree as much as her family.


When I passed  by this afternoon, the tree was gone, her life over, with only a lovely stump left to show us that she had loved us in return. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a heart shaped stump before.

18 Mar 2015

Walking amongst Friends


Back in chilly England where spring is still tiptoeing in tentatively, it still feels good to be back among familiar friends.


15 Mar 2015

Stately Sentinel


I want to introduce you to a friend of mine, a certain ivy-twined tree that I pass almost daily as I make my way through a little alleyway en route to the village. Its size makes the walkway shady and its leaves make a mess on the path when they fall and become hazardously slippery when wet, but I can forgive all that. What’s a little jeopardy amongst friends? Those of us who walk past regularly know to tread carefully.

I have always had a soft spot for a bit of ivy. It holds a mystique that draws me into its tangled vines and catches me in its rich tradition and lore. Its spiraling, pliable vines hold symbolic meaning throughout the world, and ivy is sometimes used to bring peace to a household, and as a symbol of the Goddess and the Divine Feminine.

I saw my stately friend surrounded by men with hard hats and chain saws yesterday, and I found myself worrying about her for the rest of the day, unsure of her fate. By this morning, I could wait no longer and went around for a visit; I’m happy to report that her branches have merely been trimmed, and this lovely tree is now all spruced up for spring.

03 Feb 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

Tracking the Gruffalo

We started this year as we mean to go on…. with a walk into the wild!

With our granddaughter in hand, and accompanied by some intrepid adventurers, we set off in search of the mythical Gruffalo, determined to follow his tracks and catch a glimpse in the deep, dark woods of Essex, where even the trees have a curious look, as if they could amble off at amble of at any moment.

Gruffalo Tree

We grappled with the local wildlife and discussed the possible benefits of eating roasted fox


or scrambled snake


We poked our noses into ravines and huts
(and one of our party bravely volunteered to investigate every single mud puddle on the path)


Until we finally found our Gruffalo!
And he was as friendly as can be…


And so was his child!


What? You’ve never heard of a Gruffalo?


01 Jan 2015

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