The woods are lovely, dark and deep…

We’ve been on a week’s holiday up in the far North-West of Scotland this week. I’ve been getting my old boots on again, feeling the deep joy of walking the land which birthed most of my ancestors.

There’s nothing I love better than being in the middle of nowhere, preferably amongst old trees, with a river nearby, and a track leading up the hillside to reveal magnificent sea views at the top. Wind, rain sometimes (this is Scotland, after all!), hawks, fleeting deer. Absence of people. Presence of silence, broken only by sounds of wind and water.

How I love tramping through woods! Woods especially which have largely been left to Nature’s not so tender mercies…woods which have a slightly scary undertone. Woods where you would not feel entirely safe to be alone, with day’s light fading. Woods where it’s not hard to imagine nymphs and dryads peering out from behind the trees, waiting for humans – who might not believe in them – to go home.

photo 1

Walking with family members and then with husband Ian, I’ve been fortunate to encounter some beautiful old woods in two different areas. I took quite a few photographs, and would like to share them with my readers.

Do you have favourite wood? Do tell…!


photo 1



200 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014

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8 thoughts on “The woods are lovely, dark and deep…

  1. from June Haygood, on Facebook, 5.8.14: Yes, I visited a forest in “upcountry” Maui ( Hawaii) yesterday afternoon. The woods are “lovely, dark and deep!” Ever since you awakened the concept of the “dazzling darkness” in my soul, all things that I experience as dark have a new sheen, a shine, a louder shimmering that my ever present curiosity sniffs and tongues and touches. I felt the earth’s nurturing energy move up to meet my feet with every step as I reverently explored tree bark, pine cones, roots, branches and moss, bugs and tiny spider webs. The woods felt like an ancient dim cool castle. My thoughts were commanded to surrender to its royal silence. Aaaawesome rooting grounding earthing experience!

  2. Hello Anne.
    Thank you as usual for the beautiful descriptions.
    Lots of old woods between Norway and Sweden. When we walk into the wilderness we have a word for it: The Wood “sings.” Long ago read an old Norwgian family saga titled: “And behind sings the Forrests”!( a family saga told from the 18th. Century).
    Wonders if you are familiar with the books written by the late English author Geoffrey Hodson? He was a theosophist (the English Theosophical Society) and one small book of his is titled: “Fairies at work and Play”. Geoffrey Hodson watched and could SEE the nature spirits from early childhood!

    Blessings from Inger Lise.

  3. What a lovely post. While trying to decide whether we have real forests in Texas, I learned that a forest must have trees with overlapping crowns forming 60% to 100% cover. Woodlands are more open, with 25% to 60% cover. We do have forests, especially in East Texas, where they’re often referred to as the “piney woods.” In the spring, they’re especially pretty because of the understory trees, like dogwood. And there are woodlands nearly everywhere, although we’re a little short on them here at the coast.

    Your photos have the same quality I see in photos from the Pacific Northwest. Lots of moss, algae, and that wonderful green light because of it. Spanish moss is beautiful, but of a different quality entirely. It doesn’t imply moisture. The variety in our world is overwhelming.

    1. Ah yes, that reminds me of a song which celebrates the “piney wood hills” – can’t for the life of me remember what the song is, though…..many thanks for dropping by, and for that useful information about the distinction between forests and woodlands. Now we know!

  4. As you may know Anne I do have a favourite wood though it’s very small and right at my home. What makes it special are the wooden sculptured commissioned from Chainsaw Creations. There is a fairy on toadstools, a full teddy bears picnic, an owl, a fawn, a fox chasing a squirrel and hedgehogs and lastly a green man with two thistles. All made from either dead or fallen trees. They give a really magical and fun mood to a walk there. Your pictures are also really lovely 😉

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