Thursday, February 2, 2012

A new place to walk

Our lovely new friends took us to some woods for a walk a couple of weeks ago. It's just a 20 minute drive away and impressed me so much that we've already been back three times. None of these photos show it, but the thing I love about this patch of woods is that there is quite a bit of up and down. This part of Belgium is pretty much flat and treeless. And given the miserable shape of its climate graph with its 360 days of rain or whatever it is (will look that up for real sometime) it makes for one dull and dreary landscape. Gosh, that's all a bit harsh- it's a grey, rainy day as I write this and I think it's affecting my attitude. Sorry Belgium :)
 Anyway, so there's a bit of topography in this here wood. Not a lot but plenty for a 3 and 5 year old to get some fun out of. And their parents. Some of the trails meander along the bottom of little gorges. I'm making guesses about what is natural (spotted sandstone, sandy soil and clay) and what is man made (a bit of quarrying and a horse racing track?) We have lots of exploring to do. There's a swampy area and, for a change, many different tree species instead of the more usual soul-destroying monoculture.

Lots to learn about and discover. A bit of vegetation succession, with a helping hand (above)and collecting leaves and twigs and other nature finds (below). Using his hat as a collecting pouch was his idea.
We discovered this place in January and have talked about observing closely as the seasons change and I'll probably look up the geology and history at some point. Perhaps we'll revive (again) our Forest Friday tradition and try to head to the woods every friday after lunch. Or Woods Wednesday. And with a picnic if it's nice. And some friends when they can come 

I just looked it up and found a figure of 140 days of rain per year, on average, across Belgium. It feels like more. It's -8C today. I won't complain about the sunny skies but a bit of snow would be lovely for the boys. 
 So we're looking forward to more nature adventures out here as the days get warmer. We also have another park/forest to find and explore that some different friends have told us about.


jo said...

Looks fantastic. Do all those days of rain come in winter months or is it wet in summer too? Boys look so happy, I love the lick on the cake from naughty pussy cat on Brendan's birthday post. I don't know the octonaut books, must look it up. xxx

an outdoor playgroup said...

We don't have any books either but I like the look of them. And they are not Japanese- read that in someone else's blog but is rubbish. Was lovely having Philip here the other day!!