I have to admit that I stole the idea for this post (as well as the first line) from Kristian Wannebo.
I don’t know Kristian personally, but a short while ago he published an entrancing essay entitled “Tree and Leaf” (Dear Susan #1242). His experience resonates with me. I too venture out into the woods on moist mornings. The following images record some recent “forest bathing” in western Virginia, especially after rains when the colors are saturated and—if I’m lucky—the light diffused by cloudy skies. I have taken pains never to rearrange the objects I’ve seen, so these are entirely “found” compositions that delighted me then and delight me still.
Of course Kristian’s and my woods are different, but they are also very similar. In this post I’ve focused on the smaller things that dwell beneath the trees and lie upon the rocks and logs: fallen leaves and nuts in great profusion, but also living lichen, mosses and ferns—and, not least, colorful fungi. (There is also one animal, a damselfly, if you look closely.)
These days I take to the woods with a small backpack containing water and a little nourishment, plus my Sony A7III with two lenses — 24-105mm and 16-35mm. I don’t move very fast or far, as I’m always watching my footing, but that means I have more opportunity to notice the beauty below my feet The images are in chronological order, nothing more; they were taken between October 5 and November 12.
So many thanks to Kristian! I hope others will join us in woods-walking. It’s therapeutic to be
sure, but also a great sensory delight and a photographic wonderland. And besides, you can
enjoy the experience afterwards in photographic recollection.
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