One beautiful discovery was a small plateau not far from the main path which was sealed off on one side by a magnificent fallen beech. The trunk had split in two which, as you can see, has left a small ginnel.
It felt necessary to go and explore what lay beyond ...literally off the beaten track. We were justly rewarded for our curiosity. Two magnificent beech trees...the sculpture of their form shown against the cerulean sky.
I felt a lightness of spirit being in the woods- it really is my natural environment exuding a calmness I just don't find anywhere else. With the amount of rain we have had recently it was very claggy underfoot, but as E wryly pointed out, there's only the wrong clothes not the wrong weather and I was glamorously dressed in my gorgeous waterproof trousers and hiking boots for just the conditions we found.
We chatted easily about many things catching up each others lives as well as commenting on what we saw around us and laughing at the antics of the mad dog looping around literally full of the joys of Springer spaniel [he's crossed with a cocker]. At one point we were talking about the nature of friendship and the different types you form. She mentioned that a friend of her describes these as"radiators" ie those who give out warmth and "drains" ie those who always sap your energy and leave you feeling exhausted [I am not talking about friends who are having a crisis by the way...just the non stop drama queens]. I have certainly met both types in my life and can honestly say that my friends these days are definitely in the first category not the latter. Over time I have quietly allowed the "drains" to move on and find a new audience. I can't change nor do I have the right to try and control how others behave, but I can choose how I react to it and this is what I eventually learnt to do.