A walk in the woods stimulates both body and mind
Walking in the great outdoors is well recognised as being one of the best possible tonics for both our physical and mental well-being.
All medical practitioners agree that a good brisk daily walk prolongs life and wards off illnesses of all kinds. It gets even better if we can walk for a time in woodland because the quality of the air within a wood is richer in oxygen and genuinely stimulating and there is so much to look at and enjoy, regardless of the weather or season.
The only drawback to walking in the woods is that it is difficult to keep moving briskly and not stop to examine and admire some feature of nature.
Not only are the trees themselves a constant source of visual pleasure but there are the mosses, ferns, birds and insects to distract us, along with the countless varieties of fungi found at this time of year.
All of these are competing for our attention, lit by the dappled light that filters down to the forest floor through the branches above.
On a walk such as this recently I kept pausing to marvel at mushrooms of every shape and size and especially where one tiny and lovely variety peeped its parasol heads out from the cracks in an ancient trunk.
The complexity of nature and the manner in which so many forms of life are dependent on each other is so huge a subject that it is difficult to even begin to grasp what is actually going on.