A walk

Here is the impressions from today when I was out and about seeing the little nature path that I will be trying to get upgraded as part of my next project.

Play with me, begs the wind,
and tugs at the copper,
pushes the golden,
orange and green
into a clay-grey puddle
of captured autumn sky.

Time-lapsed clouds
race over molten lead
above the capony.

Catkins and nuts
burst like campfire
under my feet.

Puffballs spiky white,
Oysters clammed up beneath bridges,
Jew’s ear listening for the sound of elderberries
swaying in the wind
and 3 pheasant torpedos,
offset over rows of ditches.

Deer at dusk…

Dusk at midday in the drizzly
airborne dampness
of late October,
bridges leaning –
compartmentalised compartments
at Wounded Tree.

Scented Sitka.
Sudden reminders of
chainsaws, stuck trailers,
sore backs and silent rain
just like this.

The warm smell of oily
tangible fumes,
wood chips warm to the touch.
The first snow
melting down my back
and caught in dad’s eyebrows.

Accending, under sizeable oaks,
fields lie narrow
with borders of blue-deep
coniferous mystery.

Fire. Light.

Darkness wraps around me,
a blanket knitted with stars.
Hands curl
around mugs of hot chocolate.

Mind calms
restless senses
sitting beneath the ticke-ti-tick
of rain on leaves
behind me.

Updated my Pages

This morning I’ve been updating my pages to reflect the projects I have been working on in the past year – there may be more to come but this makes a start. Maybe someone wants to take a look?

I have done projects on User conflicts in woodlands, Women’s self-acceptance and on Ash trees.

How do you take your tree?

Yes, you read that correctly. I’d like to know what kind of forest appeals to you. If you have a minute to answer my survey, I’d really appreciate it.

It has 4 simple tick boxes and 2 comment fields and should take maybe 3 minutes to complete.

It is a bit of an aside to my project on Ash trees.


Ash Leaf

Ash Leaf

Focus, modes and goals of experience in nature

As part of my research of material for our group project work this semester, I have come across an article which examines the different modes of focus in hikers and mountain bikers on a trail and how the goals they have and the mode they are in might contribute to the conflicts which arise in multi-use areas. [Modes of Experience on a Recreational Trail: An Examination of How Hikers and Mountain Bikers Focus Their Attention; Walker & Shafer, 2011]

It is an interesting article which both has some interesting methodological considerations as well as it gives a nice overview over some of the articles already written in this field. And then it deals with the mode of experience – focused or unfocused and how that matters to the experience of the trail, of other users and how it plays together with the goal.

I might have been tempted to see the hiker as focused on detail a lot more, but a mountain biker doing a highly technical training might be very focused on the details too. There is a difference in the type of details and cues that the two groups will focus on, but there are also a lot of similarities also across groups – at least when both groups are in the same mode.

Mode changes across the trail multiple times and can also vary depending on the purpose for a specific visit.

I recognise both modes. At times I will be walking, just wanting to unwind, walking because it is pleasant to move my feet. I may even be listening to music..! I will see the big lines, the colours, the forest on one side, the moor on the other. At other times, I will be stopping often, looking at fungi, watching for birds, ants or be naming every tree I pass.

I suspect the authors are right that in one mode, I am more likely to find that the purpose of my visit is in conflict with someone in the other mode, rather than perhaps people in the mountain biking group just because they’re mountain bikers. When I am in my focused state, I find loud people with no focus get in the way of me getting that out of my visit that I had in mind. At other times, much less so.

It was an interesting read which opened my mind to a new perspective.

And it gave me the idea to try a completely different theory on this problem too, but that’s for another time…