It was the most beautiful day here, so this afternoon I took myself off up the lane to the woods, hoping to find a few earlyish mushrooms; not too hopeful as it's been very dry so far. A good few downpours will soon bring them on, but it was far too nice to stay indoors, so off I went, basket in hand........
Isn't this so much nicer than the green plastic ones now in use in most places, left to get battered and broken, real eyesores I think, around the footpaths. This is just lovely:
I got to the woods, and sadly found a HUGE galvanised gate had been put across my usual thoroughfare, tightly padlocked, and fenced on each side; I could have climbed over, but I was shocked and saddened enough for the shine to be taken off, and turned around and left. This is the other side of that gate, where I would wander for hours, looking for mushrooms, seeing if I could spot a deer or two, just enjoying the peace and quiet and the magic that you get in broad leafed woods:
This has happened because of two old busy bodies in the village with nothing better to do than poke their nose into other people's business. One young lad, with a young family to support and not much work about, was going up to the woods, picking up sticks and branches, cutting them and selling them on to friends and neighbours; he took a little quad bike thing up there, loaded up his trailer and took it off home for cutting etc. Now, fair enough, these are private woods in that as far as I am aware they belong to the Estate, and I don't approve of stealing in any way, shape or form, but the amount he was taking (and from what I saw on his trailer when I met him was all fallen stuff, brash, sticks, bits of branches, certainly not on a commercial scale) would not, in my eyes, do any harm at all. These two women reported him to the Parish Council and were promptly told it was nothing to do with Parish Council business, so it got taken to the Estate, who have now seen fit to take this action with the gate. Thus, it's now been spoiled for many local people; now, I can get over the gate and back again, but not with my wheelie basket full of kindling that I collect regularly every autumn, as I have posted on here; but what about the older folks who took their dogs up there for a run? Surely there is enough to go round for everyone? If these two old nosey doots were in the lad's position, surely they would work as hard as he does to put food on the table and a roof over his family's head? I'm at a loss with this one, and if I see either of them I will tell them my thoughts whether they like it or not. As a result, mushrooms were off my agenda for the afternoon, sadly. However, there was plenty else to look at:
I even fitted in a bit of cloudspotting!
On the way back down the lane I filled the basket with windfall apples from an overhanging tree, brambles, rosehips and the last handful of wild elderberries, which are just about to go on to the stove for the makings of hedgerow jelly.
I hope those two old women can sleep easy in their beds, because I don't think I could.